MSU Basketball teams excel in opening games

Heading into the 2017-18 season, the men’s and women’s basketball teams look to build on their successful last season. The men had a record of 16-16, while the women had a 25-7 record with a first round exit in the NCAA tournament to the University of Washington.

It was a strong start for both the women’s and men’s teams, who each had a win on Wednesday, Nov. 1 in their first exhibitions games of the season in the Brick Breeden Fieldhouse.

The MSU women’s team came out with a bang in the first half, scoring 36 points on 50 percent shooting and holding opponent Montana Tech to 36 points on an abysmal 32 percent shooting.

MSU scored 50 points in the second half, again shooting nearly 50 percent, and held Montana Tech to only 30 points on 39 percent shooting from the field. It was the three-pointers that gave them a strong half, with 21 points off of threes at a crazy 58 percent rate. Freshman guard Tori Martell and senior guard Delany Junkermier were on fire, each scoring 13 points on good efficiency and five of the seven three pointers for the team combined. In total, Junkermier scored 20 points on 80 percent shooting and Martell 15 points, six rebounds. Sophomore forward Blaire Braxton also had a successful game, with a great double-double of 14 points, 10 rebounds and 70 percent shooting.

The men came out strong in the first half against MSU Northern, shooting nearly 45 percent from the field and holding the Polar Bears to 39 percent. They trailed 39-38 heading into the second half.

At the 18-minute mark, the Bobcats took the lead and held it until MSU Northern made a comeback with four minutes left, making it a tie game at 67. Junior forward Keljin Blevins scored a layup from an assist by senior forward Konner Frey to regain the lead, and in the remaining few minutes, the Bobcats held MSU Northern to take the win 78-73.

Junior guard Tyler Hall led the team with 15 points and six rebounds, despite a poor shooting night of 3-12. He made up for it with his aggressive play at the line, making eight free throws out of his ten attempts. Blevins chipped in with his own 13 points and six rebounds, and junior forward Sam Neumann helped out with a very efficient 12 points on only five shots in 22 minutes.

Both teams hope to build on their successful start to the season. The next men’s game is Nov. 10 against Omaha in Great Falls, Mont. and the women against USC in Los Angeles.

Montana State guard Madisyn Shaide (11) goes up for a basket during an exhibition basketball game against Montana Tech in Bozeman, Mont. Wednesday, Nov. 01, 2017. Photo by Braeden Roesler / Montana State University Exponent