(Editor’s note: story by Montana Sports Information)
NASSAU, BAHAMAS – Montana opened the 2018 Islands of the Bahamas Showcase with an offensive spectacle, shooting 62.3 percent from the floor in a 93-66 victory over Incarnate Word. It was the Grizzlies’ highest shooting percentage since the 2015-16 season.
The Grizzlies led by just six, 42-36, at halftime, but used a 10-0 run early in the second half to take control. The 10 consecutive points extended into a 28-6 run, as Montana led by double figures for the final 16 minutes, including by as many as 27 points.
Senior guard Michael Oguine stole the show, scoring 25 points on 10-of-11 shooting, including 4-of-5 from three-point range. After Montana trailed early in the game, the Grizzlies got hot toward the end of the half, with Oguine scoring 10 of Montana’s 12 points over the final 4 minutes of the first half.
Also in double figures was Sayeed Pridgett (19 points on 8-of-9 shooting) and Ahmaad Rorie (18 points). Freshman Mack Anderson saw 13 minutes of action in his collegiate debut, scoring seven points.
-Montana’s .623 shooting percentage was its highest since shooting .651 vs. Idaho on March 11, 2016. The Grizzlies connected on 74.1 percent of their shots in the second half (20 of 27).
-Montana made nearly half of its three-point attempts (12-of-26), led by Oguine’s four and Rorie’s three.
-Montana took just nine shots from the charity stripes, compared to 23 for Incarnate Word.
-The Grizzlies won the rebounding edge, 33-19, and totaled 16 second-chance points (zero for Incarnate Word).
-In addition to Oguine’s 25 points, the senior also added five rebounds, three assists, one steal and one blocked shot.
-Pridgett’s 19 points were the fourth-most of his career. He did so on 8-of-9 shooting and also added a team-high-tying five assists.
-Oguine, Pridgett and Rorie combined to score two-thirds of Montana’s points (62 of 93).
-Anderson made his collegiate debut, playing multiple stints across 13 minutes. He scored seven points on 3-of-4 shooting, also adding four rebounds and an assist. Four of his points came during Montana’s 10-0 second-half run.
-Freshman Freddy Brown, who made his collegiate debut earlier this week vs. Montana Tech, scored his first career points. He nailed a three-pointer in the closing minute of the game, and on the ensuing defensive possession took a charge.
-Senior Bobby Moorehead scored just four points – both in the second half – but collected a team-most nine rebounds and two steals.
-Montana had an assist on more than half of its made field goals (20 of 38).
-Montana trailed for more of the first half than it led, but closed the stanza on a 16-6 run before opening up a huge lead in the second half.
-Montana is 3-0 to begin a season for the first time since also winning its first three games in 2009-10.
(on the slow start to the game)
“The first half, it took us awhile to get going. They did a good job of exploiting a few things that we do offensively. The penetration was a problem for us, and once we started containing the ball, we were able to get some good shots, and that’s when the field-goal percentage started coming together.”
(on halftime adjustments)
“We were committing to help too quickly, and they were throwing it right back out for open threes. Once we did a better job of fighting the touch and waiting for them to commit to a move, the inside help didn’t exist as much.”
(on the team’s hot shooting, particularly from three-point range)
“I thought we did a good job of attacking the rim, and eventually all of the threes were inside out, which we hadn’t been getting.”
(on the team’s rebounding edge)
“I thought we did a better job of staying physical and blocking them off and minimizing their three-point shots.”
(on burning Mack Anderson’s redshirt season)
“We just have too many question marks. I know he’s physically ready to go, so for him, it’s more just confidence and believing in himself, and the only way to do that is playing through it. If we’re going to play him we have to commit to it, and that’s why I brought him in off the bench early.”
(on Moorehead’s defense)
“That’s an example of Bob’s value. He can help us win games without making a shot. The shooting is a bonus; we’d love to have it, and we will, but he’ll always defend and rebound.”
Montana advances in the bracket and will now play Miami (Ohio), which defeated North Dakota State Friday afternoon. The Grizzlies and RedHawks have never met on the court before. Tipoff is scheduled for Saturday at 3 p.m. MT. Fans can purchase a streaming package to watch the game, or can listen to the Montana stream online (due to the Griz-Cat football game, it will not be broadcast over the airwaves and will be online only).