LAS VEGAS -- Xavier Bishop made the most of his Montana State debut.
After transferring from University of Missouri - Kansas City and sitting out the 2019-20 season, Bishop, a senior guard, scored 22 points on Wednesday to help Montana State to a 91-78 at UNLV to tip off the 2020-21 men's basketball season.
The Bobcats took a 14-10 lead midway through the first half and never trailed the rest of the way, pushing the lead to 49-31 at halftime. MSU shot a blistering 62.1 percent in the first half and made 7 of 11 3-point attempts, while holding UNLV to just 10-of-30 shooting and 3 of 12 from 3-point range. Jubrile Belo paced the Bobcats in the first half with 12 points and six rebounds.
Montana State pushed the lead to as many as 22 points in the second half and coasted to the 91-78 win. Belo finished with 14 points and eight rebounds, and Amin Adamu added another 14 points to go along with a game-high six assists. Nick Gazelas had 11 points, sinking 3 of 5 3-pointers. Bishop filled the stat sheet on Wednesday, adding five rebounds, four assists and one steal. He was 6-of-9 shooting, including a 2-for-4 mark from beyond the arc, and made all eight of his free throw attempts.
The Bobcats had a terrific night shooting, going 55.6 percent from the field (30 of 54), 55.6 percent from 3-point range (10 of 18) and 87.5 percent from the free throw line (21 of 24).
UNLV was led by Bryce Hamilton, who had a game-high 27 points and eight rebounds.
Montana State (1-0) is next scheduled to play at Pacific in Stockton, Calif., at 3 p.m. on Dec. 2.