The Cats faced up against the Northern Arizona University Lumberjacks in the Brick Breeden Fieldhouse on Thursday, Jan. 25. Unfortunately, they fell in a close game that was decided by only two points. For the first half, they battled evenly, each team hovering near 45 percent from the field.
In the second half, the Lumberjacks came out strong and finished just over half their shots.
Unable to keep up with their hot shooting, the Bobcats fell 77-75. Leading the way, freshman Devonte Klines had 15 points, and junior Sam Neumann shot 14 points including four three-pointers on only five attempts.
Despite their losing streak, the Bobcats managed to turn it around after a strong second half against Southern Utah on Saturday, Jan. 27. Down by three at 40-37 to begin the second period, MSU went on a 19-4 run and made seven of their first 11 shots. In the final 12 minutes of the game, the Cats scored only one more from the field, but nearly made up for this with 13 free-throws on 17 attempts.
Despite their poor shooting, the team’s defense cemented their win. The Bobcats impressively held their opponents to 38 percent from the floor in the second half, compared to their much better 52 percent in the first.
With only six minutes left in the game, the tension increased for MSU. With a 10-0 run, the score was cut close to 58-54. Thankfully, the Bobcat’s cold strip went away after a layup by junior Keljin Blevins. Following this, MSU led the opposing Thunderbirds by five or more the rest of the game. The Cats won 69-66, led by junior Tyler Hall and his game-high 23 points.
With this triumph over Southern Utah, MSU ended their four-game losing streak after a hard-fought victory. Heading into the 20th game of the season, they are currently 5-4 in the Big Sky Conference. With a 12-10 record now, the Bobcats next challenge their league rival University of North Dakota on Thursday, Feb. 1 in an away game.