BOZEMAN — It has been a while since the Montana State Bobcats posed a threat early in Big Sky Conference play. After knocking off defending conference champion North Dakota 79-68, the Cats improved to 4-0 in conference play, the first time that has happened since the 2004-2005 season.
Although Montana State is smaller than most teams around the conference, it was able to win the rebounding battle in both wins this week.
“Our biggest key is to try to win the battle of the boards, because that does have such an impact on how the outcome of the games are,” said forward Zach Green.
Tyler Hall has also continued his production, scoring 25 points on 7-of-15 shooting against the Fighting Hawks. Hall showed incredible range, knocking down shots from as far as the Bobcats’ logo at midcourt. At this point, his shooting comes as no surprise the the team.
“We’re about 80 games into (his career),” said head coach Brian Fish. “He’s hit some that are out there before, so I look at the shot attempt more than I look at the distance.”
Green has a name to describe when Hall is streaking.
“What’s going through my mind (in these instances) is, ‘It’s Tyler time,'” he said. “When he gets in that mode, he’s a really good player.”
Montana State is now 11-6 on the season, and the players credit the success to buying into the program. But, in a long conference season, the men are not getting ahead of themselves.
They hit the road this week for two games, beginning with a matchup against Portland State on Jan. 11.