MISSOULA — For the first time on a Thursday in Big Sky Conference play, the Montana Grizzlies emerged winners as they gutted out a nail-biter, 69-67, over Northern Colorado on Thursday evening at Dahlberg Arena.
Aanen Moody — who missed UM's last game against Portland State with a concussion — returned and put up 26 points to lead the Grizzlies as he went 10 for 17 from the field. Josh Bannan filled out the stat sheet with 18 points, nine rebounds and six assists and Lonnell Martin Jr. added 12 points as the Griz improved to 11-12 overall and 5-6 in league play.
As a team the Griz shot 48.2% from the field but went just 4 for 16 from 3-point range. UM forced 11 turnovers and held UNC to just 44.8% shooting from the field. The Bears went 7 for 22 from deep and were led by Daylen Kountz who scored 18 points.
Montana — which was without forward Mack Anderson for the third straight game with an injury — led by as much as nine late in the second half but the Bears again stormed back, but never retook the lead down the stretch as the Grizzlies bucked the trend of letting late leads slip into losses.
With the win, UM swept UNC in their regular season meetings.
UM will look for its first conference sweep of the season as they host Northern Arizona (6-17, 2-8) on Saturday at 7 p.m. The Lumberjacks beat the Griz in overtime in the first meeting of the season between the two teams.