BOISE, Idaho—Top-seeded Montana State started its quest for the NCAA Tournament off on the right foot as the No. 1 Bobcats beat No. 8 Sacramento State 83-61 in the quarterfinal round of the men's Big Sky Conference Tournament at Idaho Central Arena.
Xavier Bishop finished with 14 points while Jubrile Belo added 11 and RaeQuan Battle scored 10 points off of the bench for the Bobcats (25-7).
Photos: UM, MSU open Big Sky Tournament quarterfinal play
The Bobcats trailed 8-0 to start the game but eventually found their footing and went into halftime up 39-28. Great Osobor, who finished with 13 points, had eight in the first half for MSU.
It was more of the same from MSU in the second half as Bishop began putting the game away as the Bobcats advance to the semifinal round of the tournament for the second straight year.
Abdul Mohamed added 11 points for the Bobcats.
Montana State will play the winner of No. 5 Montana and No. 4 Weber State in the semifinals on Friday at 5:30 p.m. Historically, the Bobcats and Grizzlies have met 11 times in the tournament, with UM holding a 6-5 advantage. The last time the two rivals met in the tournament was 2009.