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BOZEMAN, Mont. (AP) — Keron DeShields scored 17 points and injury-plagued Montana survived a furious Montana State rally for a 71-68 win Saturday night.
The Grizzlies (20-6, 16-1) held onto first place in the Big Sky Conference despite playing without star point guard Will Cherry and forward Mathias Ward.
“We had a mental lapse,” Montana forward Kareem Jamar said of the Bobcats’ comeback. “We have one of those every game, but (the Bobcats) are well-coached and we knew they’d give us a tough game.”
Montana State (11-16, 8-10) trailed 59-43 midway through the second half but went on a 16-3 run behind 11 points from Flavien Davis, who finished the game with 30.
Montana extended the lead back to 70-60 with 2:58 to go. The Bobcats came back with an 8-1 run, but couldn’t get a shot off on their last possession as Antonio Biglow was called for charging with 3.3 seconds to play.
“I go against the best point guard (Cherry) in the conference in practice, so I was ready for it,” DeShields said.
Spencer Coleman and Kareem Jamar both had 14 points for the Grizzlies, who made 11 of 22 3-pointers compared to just 3 of 14 for the Bobcats.”I’m super proud of the grit, especially in the second half when everything was going down and (the Bobcats) were getting breaks, because they were working extremely hard,” Montana coach Wayne Tinkle said. “We just held on and had enough in the end.”
Christian Moon had 14 points for Montana State.
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