Montana (18-5) at Idaho State (5-19)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, February 16, 9:05 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Reed Gym (3,040) -- Pocatello, Idaho.
Television: None. Home Record: Montana 11-1, ISU 4-4. Away Record: Montana
7-3, ISU 1-13. Neutral Record: Montana 0-1, ISU 0-2. Conference Record:
Montana 14-1, ISU 4-11. Series Record: Montana leads, 95-44.
GAME NOTES: With their 25-game Big Sky Conference win streak now over, the
Montana Grizzlies get after the Idaho State Bengals in league action at Reed
Gym on Saturday night.
The Grizzlies, still alone in first place in the Big Sky, had their
unblemished mark in league play compromised on Thursday night as the squad
suffered an awkward 87-63 road loss against Weber State in Ogden. Not only did
the setback snap what had been one of the longest overall win streaks in
Division I, it also halted an 11-game road win streak versus conference foes
As for the Bengals, they seem to have caught lightning in a bottle two nights
ago as they not only snapped a seven-game slide, they demolished visiting
Montana State by a score of 87-51. The scoring output was the most for Idaho
State this season, but still the team is just 4-11 in conference play which
has the Bengals tied with Portland State for last place in the standings.
Obviously, having gone undefeated in conference play up until Thursday night,
the Grizzlies won the first meeting of the season between the squads at home
last month, 70-51, which means the all-time series now numbers 95-44 in favor
The Grizzlies have won six straight over Idaho State, the last victory for the
Bengals coming at home on New Year's Eve 2009 by a 67-65 margin.
Montana figured to have a tough time on the road versus the Wildcats on
Valentine's Day, but to be blown out the way that it was by no means expected.
Mathias Ward and Will Cherry tried to give the Grizzlies a fighting chance
with 18 points apiece, but the squad turned the ball over 14 times and shot
only 4-of-15 behind the 3-point line in the meeting. Defensively, Montana
allowed WSU to connect on a staggering 58.2 percent from the floor.
In conference play, Montana is outscoring the competition by more than eight
points per game, thanks to the efforts of Ward (15.0 ppg), Cherry (14.3 ppg)
and Kareem Jamar (12.6 ppg). Another positive aspect of the offense for the
Grizzlies is that there are as many as six players who have knocked down at
least 11 triples through 15 league bouts, forcing defenses to take any and all
perimeter attempts seriously no matter who the shooter might be.
Chris Hansen scored a game-high 27 points, shooting a stellar 9-of-11 behind
the 3-point line, as Idaho State crushed the Montana State Bobcats by 26-
points in Big Sky Conference action at Reed Gym two nights ago. Hansen, who
didn't attempt a single shot from inside the arc, set the school record of
triples in a single game for the Bengals. Melvin Morgan and Andre Hatchett
checked in with 15 and 12 points, respectively.
Hansen, who failed to hit a single 3-pointer for the first time this season
when the team tangled with Weber State earlier in the week, is now second on
the team in scoring with 11.1 ppg, stemming mostly from his 38.2 percent
accuracy beyond the arc. Oddly enough, Hansen is shooting just 37.1 percent
from the floor overall on the season. As a group, the Bengals are scoring just
55.5 ppg on the campaign, 59.7 ppg in conference play.
The Bengals hit their high-water mark on Thursday and while it would be nice
to see Hansen have another incredible effort out on the perimeter, the odds
are certainly against him and the home team right now.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Montana 73, Idaho State 60
02/16 10:45:18 ET
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