Game Recap

Montana leads wire to wire in win over Dickinson State


MISSOULA, Mont. – Montana ran its win streak to three games on Friday afternoon, defeating Dickinson State, 78-51, inside Dahlberg Arena. The Grizzlies opened the game with six consecutive points and never trailed in the contest.

Montana made 10 of its first 14 shots to take an early 21-7 lead, but Dickinson State followed with an 11-0 run of its own to cut the score to a single possession, 29-26.

That didn’t last long, however, as Montana scored 13 of the next 15 points to rebuild a double-digit lead. Montana led by at least double digits for the final 17 minutes, 33 seconds, and by as many as 30 points following a 20-3 run midway through the second half.

During that spurt, the Grizzlies shot 8-of-11 from the floor, while holding Dickinson State to 0-of-10 shooting over a nearly 9-minute stretch.

Three Grizzlies were in double figures for scoring, including freshman Josh Bannan, who recorded his second consecutive double-double with 16 points and 12 rebounds. Senior Michael Steadman shot 9-of-11 from the floor and scored a team-high 18 points, despite playing just 15 minutes. Sophomore Kyle Owens was also in double figures (10 points on 5-of-6 shooting), as he has been every game this season.

Sophomore Josh Vazquez dished out a team-high-tying four assists while playing a game-high 29 minutes. Also contributing was Derrick Carter-Hollinger, who is in his second game back after missing three with a head injury. The sophomore looked more comfortable on the floor Saturday, scoring six points and blocking two shots, while playing 27 minutes.

Montana emptied its bench in the game, playing all 13 players. Junior Darius Henderson, a UMass Lowell transfer, scored his first points as a Griz, while freshman Hunter Clarke recorded a rebound in his collegiate debut. Also making his collegiate debut was freshman Robby Beasley III, who scored five points on 2-of-6 shooting, while also collecting a rebound. Beasley III had missed the team’s first six games with a leg injury.

Despite holding a nine-point lead at halftime, Montana felt as if it was giving up too many baskets, and was unhappy with the Blue Hawks’ 33 points. The defense clamped down in the second half, holding Dickinson State to 18 points on 21.7 percent shooting. Montana shot 55 percent for the game and out-rebounded Dickinson State 46 to 18.

Quoting DeCuire
(on Montana’s early run and second-half takeover)
“We got off to a good start, we were defending early. Once we got the big lead early, our energy wasn’t the same, our juice wasn’t the same and we weren’t playing as hard defensively. Then they (Dickinson State) started getting some, made it a grind to halftime. And then our guys did a really good job responding to the second half.”

“To hold them to 21 percent in the second half and respond to the challenge they were given in the second half, I thought was good.”

(on using different rotations, and seeing some new guys on the floor)
“We wanted to see different lineups, especially out of those seven guys who have been playing. We wanted to get DJ (Derrick Carter-Hollinger) some shots, not only as a wing but as a 4.”

“Robby Beasley gets his first college baskets, that was huge. Definitely wanted to see DJ play some heavy minutes, make some plays and have some success. For me, it was more about us as a group accomplishing some things, and we did that in the second half.”

(on out-rebounding Dickinson State 46 to 18)
“The types of rebounds we go get is what I look for, and seeing guys go getting the ball above the rim, see them leaving the floor to get the balls instead of letting them come to you, that’s what I like to see. We’re heading in the right direction. Kyle (Owens) and Josh (Bannan) are really rebounding the ball well right now.”

(on former Griz Derek Selvig coaching the Blue Hawks)
“It’s fun. The couple minutes we had before the game are things I always look forward to. I think he loves coming back and coaching in this arena. It’s always a moment that we’re going to enjoy having a Griz on the other end of things.”

(on his team’s improvement from Game 1 to now)
“Vast improvement. I wish we had an opportunity to get some like-Division-I opponents in here. One, maybe your record looks a little different, and two, you get a chance to really see what that growth looks like. But, you just have to take advantage of every opportunity you have in front of you, and I think we’re headed in the right direction.”

Looking Ahead
Montana will tie a bow on non-conference play on Tuesday at Arizona (5 p.m. MT on Pac-12 Networks). Earlier this week, the Grizzlies snapped their 14-game losing skid to Pac-12 competition with a 66-58 road win at Washington.

Story courtesy of Nic Hallisey – Griz Communications. Photo courtesy of Griz Communications. All Rights Reserved.

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