(Editor's note: Montana State Athletics press release)
BAKERSFIELD, California -- Montana State and CSU Bakersfield traded baskets for nearly 40 minutes in the Icardo Center on Thursday. The Roadrunners used an offensive rebound and two free throws with 12 seconds remaining to take the final lead and eventually earned a 74-72 victory over the Bobcats in MSU's final nonconference game of the season.
The contest featured 22 lead changes and 18 ties. Montana State held a 39-37 edge after the first half and it was just as close following 40 minutes.
Bakersfield (5-8) gained a 69-66 advantage but a Ladan Ricketts 3-pointer with 2 minutes, 41 seconds remaining tied the game at 69. MSU took the next lead on a layup by Finn Fleute, but the 'Runners responded on their next possession to tie it at 71.
Shawn Stith of Bakersfield was called for a flagrant foul, which resulted in Harald Frey making one of two free throw attempts. An MSU foul with 14 seconds left sent the Roadrunners' Ronne Readus to the line who hit his first free throw, but Taze Moore snagged the second missed attempt and was fouled on the responding put back. Moore knocked in two free throws to put CSUB up 74-72.
Frey's 3-point shot ahead of the final buzzer wouldn't fall as the Bobcat rally fell short.
Montana State was led by Frey's 26 points as the senior guard shot 7-for-12 from the field. He also went 9 of 10 from the free throw line. Mychael Paulo scored 13 points for MSU. Zeke Quinlan paced MSU on the boards with five and Frey recorded a team-high five assists.
Bakersfield had four double-digit scorers while Czar Perry had five assists. CSUB shot 40 percent form the 3-point line after coming into the game only shooting 29.4% from deep. The Bobcats shot 51.1% from the floor. Bakersfield improved to 5-8 overall with the win while Montana State fell to 6-5.
The Bobcats return to play on Dec. 28 when they host Sacramento State in their Big Sky Conference opener inside of Worthington Arena.