basketball struggles in weekend competition

It was a rough week for MSU basketball. Of the four total games, the Bobcats fell in three out of the four matches.

At home on Feb. 8, the men’s team faced the Sacramento State Hornets. Led by junior Tyler Hall and his game-high 28 points, the Bobcats defeated the Hornets 92-76. Overall, it was a great shooting night for the team as they were 51 percent from field, the first time of the season since their conference home-opener against Southern Utah, as well as their highest scoring game since then. Five players on the team scored in double digits: Keljin Blevins, Tyler Hall, Harald Frey, Devonte Klines and Zach Green.

With 10 minutes remaining in the first half, the Bobcats began to pull ahead following a three-pointer and layup by Hall which put them up 20-11. Just before the buzzer sounded, junior Devonte Klines capitalized on a steal and ran across the court for fast-break dunk to give MSU a 45-29 lead. Despite the 16-point lead, the Hornets did not give up easily. They came out hot and scored on 10 of their first possessions, narrowing MSU’s lead to 66-62. But of the next 20 possessions, MSU came through on 17, granting a 26-14 run over the final nine minutes of the game.

Again in Bozeman, the men’s team took on Portland State on Feb. 10. Unfortunately, the Vikings barely escaped with an 80-77 victory after a miss on a potential three-pointer at the buzzer by Tyler Hall to send the game into overtime. For the Bobcats, it was more of a game where they defeated themselves after missing out on 14 points because of their 17-for-31 from the free throw line. Harald Frey scored a game-high 22 points.

Over in Sacramento, California the women’s team played Sacramento State on Feb. 8. Right out of the gates, the team struggled to protect the ball and gave up 24 turnovers for the game, their most since the opening weekend. Despite a stronger fourth quarter where they outscored the Hornets by eight, MSU was unable to fully recover from their poor start. The Bobcats fell 88-77. Four players scored in double-digits: senior Hannah Caudill, senior Rebekah Hatchard, senior Delany Junkermier and sophomore Madeline Smith. As a team, they shot well at 51 percent from the field and 40 percent from the three-point line, but were overpowered as the Hornets shot just as well with more possessions.

Unfortunately, the women’s team fell again on Feb. 10 in Portland to the Portland State Vikings. It was a low-scoring 62-53 game, where neither team shot particularly well. For the game, MSU hit 35 percent of their shots and only 24 percent from three, the main reason for their loss. Despite the Vikings shooting poorly as well at 43 percent and 29 percent, respectively, Portland took the win after attempting 20 more free throws, connecting on 16 of them, compared to MSU and their four attempts. Overall, it was an unfortunate night for the Bobcats, but it was a career night for freshman Tori Martell, who scored 12 points off of four three-pointers.

The men’s team will travel to face Idaho while the women’s team will host Idaho on Feb. 15.