Montana State

Montana State takes on Pacific Wednesday


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BOZEMAN, Mont.- Montana State men’s basketball returns to action at 3 p.m. MDT Wednesday, Dec. 2, as the Bobcats get set to face the Pacific Tigers in the Alex G. Spanos Center in Stockton, Calif. MSU heads into its second game of the season following a 91-78 season-opening victory over UNLV on Nov. 25.

The Bobcats jumped out to a double-digit lead against UNLV midway through the first half of their season opener and never wavered. MSU went into halftime up 49-31 thanks to shooting over 60% from the field and 3-point range. MSU went up by as many as 22 in the second half, led by Xavier Bishop’s 16 points in the final 20 minutes, to earn the 13-point win.

MSU’s victory over UNLV provided plenty of season-opening highlights. 

The win was the Bobcats’ first true road victory to begin a campaign since MSU defeated Washington in Seattle to start the 2002-03 season. The Bobcats’ 91 points were the most by an MSU squad in a season opener since the 1997-98 team topped Simon Fraser 107-59 in its debut. The Bobcats won just their second season opener since the 2003-04 campaign which also was the last time MSU opened a season with two wins. MSU previously earned an overtime victory over Omaha in Great Falls, Mont., to begin the 2017-18 schedule.

Bishop scored a team-high 22 points in MSU’s season-opening victory and was rewarded as the Big Sky Men’s Basketball Player of the Week on Monday. Bishop, who sat out as a redshirt a season ago, went 6 of 9 shooting and was 8-for-8 from the charity stripe. He enters Wednesday’s game having played in 99 contests during his career (98 at Kansas City) and sits at 299 assists. His 1,077 career points rank him 69th among all Division I active players.

The offensive numbers stood out in the Montana State win at UNLV. The Bobcats’ 55.6% clip from the field against the Runnin’ Rebels would have been their third best overall shooting mark a season ago. MSU’s same percentage from the 3-point line last week was its best since the 2017-18 season when the ‘Cats went 15 of 26 (57.7%) from deep in a 109-81 victory against Montana Western on Nov. 15.

Four Bobcats scored in double digits with Bishop’s 22 pacing MSU. Joining him were Amin Adamu (14), Jubrile Belo (14) and Nick Gazelas (11). A total of nine Bobcats found the scoreboard. Gazelas, Tyler Patterson (9) and Kellen Tynes (5) all registered their first points at the NCAA Division I level.

Montana State and Pacific meet for the eighth time on Wednesday and have their first matchup since the 1985-86 season. Pacific holds the all-time series lead 4-3, but MSU earned an 82-72 win in their last encounter. Kral Ferch posted a 23-point, 11-rebound double-double performance for the Bobcats in the Dec. 2 meeting that season. The Tigers are 1-1 overall after opening the season with a 66-60 victory over UC Riverside then followed that up with a 70-58 defeat at Nevada on Monday.

Wednesday’s game is expected to be streamed as part of the West Coast Conference Network. It would be found at The WCC network also provides a where to watch selection of streaming options. All Bobcat basketball games are available to listen to as part of the Bobcat Sports Radio Network which airs locally on KMMS 1450 AM. Fans can also listen online on the TuneIn app. 

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