(story by griz communications)
POCATELLO, ID – Montana closed the first half on an 18-3 run, making 10 consecutive shots at one point, to overcome an early deficit on the road. Idaho State closed to within three points in the second half, but Montana responded with a 16-1 run to create the needed separation in an 80-68 victory.
Montana has now won nine consecutive games dating back to Jan. 12, including five in a row on the road.
Sayeed Pridgett continued his torrid pace, leading the Grizzlies for scoring (22), rebounding (seven) and assists (five), and shooting 11-of-15 from the floor. Fellow junior Kendal Manuel had a career night as well, connecting on 6-of-7 three-point attempts and scoring 20 points.
Manuel hit three treys during the Grizzlies’ 16-1 second-half run, which saw Montana turn a three-point lead to 18 in less than 5 minutes of game clock. Idaho State cut the score to 57-54 with 10:27 to play before Manuel hit a three on the other end. The Bengals didn’t make their next shot from the floor until 5:25 remained in the game.
Senior Ahmaad Rorie scored 15 points while dishing out five assists, but his biggest came late in the first half. Less than a minute after hitting a corner three, Rorie connected on a deep two to eclipse 1,500 career points. He becomes the ninth player in school history to reach that number and the first ever to do it in just three seasons.
Montana took its first lead of the night with 3:32 to play in the first half and never looked back, leading for the final 23 minutes.
- Over the past four games, Pridgett is averaging 22.8 points on .731 shooting, in addition to 9.0 rebounds.
- Kendal Manuel scored 20 points, shooting 6-of-7 from three-point range (UM high, ties a career high). In two games vs. Idaho State this season, Manuel is averaging 18.0 points on 10-of-15 shooting from beyond the arc. At one point on Saturday, he scored 12 of 19 Griz points.
- Freshman Mack Anderson had a career night, scoring a dozen points on 6-of-8 shooting, also grabbing four rebounds. He played a career-high 22 minutes.
- Of Rorie’s 15 points, he scored 10 during a span of 3:09 late in the first half.
- In addition to his 11 points, Michael Oguine had a team-high three steals.
- Montana shot 55.0 percent from the floor while limiting Idaho State to 39.0 percent shooting. The Bengals made five consecutive shots early in the first half, jumping out to a 15-9 lead.
- Five players scored in double figures for Montana.
- Montana out-rebounded Idaho State, 36-28. The Grizzlies have out-rebounded their opponent in 14 of the past 15 games.
- Montana trailed for 14:48 in the first half, a longer period of time than the Grizzlies had trailed in the past eight games combined.
- Montana trailed by as many as nine points. Prior to Saturday, the Grizzlies hadn’t trailed by more than four points in any of the past eight games.
- Montana has won 17 consecutive games vs. Idaho State. Travis DeCuire is 8-0 vs. the Bengals, with each win being by double digits.
Riding a nine-game winning streak, Montana will now have a full week to prepare for rival Montana State. The game (Saturday, 7 p.m.) is a maroon out.