(Editor's note: Montana State Athletics press release)
BOZEMAN -- Montana State started fast and never looked back, racing to a 94-43 win in the team's exhibition game against Yellowstone Christian College in Bozeman on Wednesday.
Freshman Caleb Bellach from Manhattan led all players with 19, while junior college transfer Michael Paulo added 17 for the Bobcats. Montana State shot 53% from the floor and outrebounded Yellowstone Christian 50-27. MSU held the Centurions to 25.5% shooting.
"I thought the guys came out focused and played with energy," said Bobcat coach Danny Sprinkle, a former MSU star coaching for the first time in Brick Breeden Fieldhouse. "They shared the ball well and were unselfish."
The Cats jumped out to a 16-5 lead in the game's first four minutes. After a layup by newcomer Jubrile Belo and a triple by senior Harald Frey, the game was tied at 5-5. Two free throws and then a layup by Belo pushed the advantage to 9-5 and started the Cats on an 11-0 run. A trey, a layup and a triple by Bellach in succession pushed MSU's lead to 24-8, and the lead was never smaller than that the rest of the night.
Frey dished out three assists without a turnover and nabbed two steals. Sprinkle credited him for setting the tone early. "I thought Harald did a good job early on," he said. "He was unselfish and I thought he really got the guys going."
One of Frey's prime beneficiaries was Bellach who finished 6-for-8 from the floor, 2-for-3 from the arc, and 5-for-5 from the line. "He has a scorer's mentality," Sprinkle said of Bellach. "He's never met a shot he didn't like, and that's what I like about him. He had a good night offensively."
The Cats led 55-22 at halftime and on the night outscored Yellowstone Christian 52-8 in the paint, 21-5 off turnovers, and 22-3 on fast breaks. Devin Jones, Chris Pendly and Derrian Reed each scored 12 points for the Centurions.
Montana State opens the regular season Tuesday night at Utah State.