(Editor’s note: Montana State University press release)
FORT COLLINS, Colorado – olorado State closed the game on an 16-8 run, holding off Montana State 81-77 in Fort Collins on Wednesday.
Bobcat senior Tyler Hall led all players with 30 points, his 13th career 30-point effort, and junior guard Harald Frey added 17 points. Ladan Ricketts scored 12 as the Bobcats fell to 1-3 on the season. J.D. Paige scored 23 points for Colorado State (3-0), one of five Rams in double-digits.
“We are making leaps-and-bounds improvements,” said MSU coach Brian Fish. “We’re competing, we won the battle of the boards, we shot the ball better. We were in a close game tonight, we had a couple turnovers late that hurt us, but we got better.”
The game was a see-saw affair, with CSU leading by as many as seven in the first half and the Cats building a six-point lead in the second. The game featured 14 lead changes and nine ties. Hall scored just 10 points before the intermission, hitting just one of six three-pointers, but he caught fire in the second half. He hit six of his 10 shots behind the arc, scoring 20 points. Frey’s 17 points was accompanied by eight rebounds seven assists.
Montana State shot 46.6% from the floor, hitting 40% of its three-point attempts, and led almost exactly half the game. But the Rams out-scored MSU 40-20 in the paint and converted 15 Bobcat turnovers into 23 points. CSU turned the ball over only seven time.
“I thought we were fantastic (defensively) darting in and out,” Fish said. “The only disappointing thing is we got a couple turnovers in the second half and went down and turned it right back over. But I’m very happy with how hard they played, how hard they’re working.”
Montana State remains on the road through the rest of the week, playing at UC Santa Barbara Saturday at 3 pm MT.