(Editor's note: Montana Athletics release.)
EUGENE, Ore. — The Montana Grizzlies gave Oregon all it could handle on Friday night inside Matthew Knight Arena, holding a lead in the second half and playing tough for 40 minutes but an upset bid came up short down the stretch.
Montana rode the hot hands of Aanen Moody in the first half and Money Williams in the second to put up a fight. The Grizzlies started aggressive, jumping out to a 9-2 lead early on the back of a 7-0 scoring run, but couldn't maintain the pressure.
Montana was within a point with 10 minutes to play and outplaying the Ducks in a variety of categories. The hosts, playing their season opener in front of a packed arena, scored 22 of the final 31 points in the game.
The Grizzlies got 17 points from Moody, who had his way in the first half with an impressive shooting display. As the Oregon defense focused in on the senior, it opened the door for the true freshman Williams to take over.
Williams scored 13 in the game with six rebounds, and did a lot of his damage in the second half. He had eight points and five rebounds after the halftime break, keeping Montana in it for the opening 10 minutes.
The Grizzlies held their own against the superior size of the Ducks. Oregon had a narrow advantage in points in the paint at 32-28, and despite 12 offensive rebounds the Griz only allowed nine second-chance points.
There were 13 ties and 11 lead changes in the game. Montana just had one too many scoring droughts down the stretch. The Grizzlies were held to just eight makes and 32 percent shooting in the second half.
Dischon Thomas joined Moody and Williams in double figures with 11 points and also grabbed six rebounds.