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Montana State keeps Brawl of the Wild trophy for fifth year in a row

Montana State keeps Brawl of the Wild trophy for fifth year in a row
Posted at 1:52 PM, May 17, 2021

(Editor's note: Montana State University media release)

BOZEMAN -- Montana State continued its reign in the Brawl of the Wild Series, presented by Town Pump, by earning an 8-3 victory over Montana in the year-long rivalry. The Bobcats have now won the Series five consecutive years and kept the trophy in Bozeman during that time.

The head-to-head competition ended with the Big Sky Outdoor Track and Field Championships in Ogden this past weekend. The Brawl of the Wild Series operates on a point system in which each school can, in a normal year, earn a maximum 17 points based on matchups between the two schools' similar sports programs.

This year, Montana and Montana State were able to participate in events that produced 11 of the customary 17 points.

Montana State picked up the first six points in the Series. The Bobcat women's basketball team claimed the opening two points by winning consecutive matchups over the Lady Griz on Jan. 28 (70-46) in Bozeman and on Jan. 30 (70-60) in Missoula. Tricia Binford's program completed a season sweep over Montana for the third consecutive year and extended the Bobcats' winning streak over the Lady Griz to six.

The next two points came from a consecutive-day sweep by the Bobcat volleyball program over Montana with both matches played in Dahlberg Arena. The opening matchup on Feb. 14 went five sets and featured MSU having to rally back from match point in the fifth. The Bobcats eventually scored three straight points to earn the victory, 17-15. MSU cruised to a win the following day defeating Montana in straight sets (25-16, 25-17, 25-20) and brought the inaugural Main Line Trophy to Bozeman.

MSU's cross country teams continued the onslaught by recording two more points for the Bobcats at the 2021 Big Sky Conference Winter Cross Country Championships on Feb. 27 in Utah. The MSU women's squad completed a third-place showing while the Bobcat men finished fourth. Bozeman natives Duncan Hamilton and Camila Noe recorded runner-up and fourth-place finishes, respectively, to lead the MSU teams. The 'Cats placed ahead of the Griz squads that each took eighth.

Montana made its way into the scoring column in the series with three straight points. The Griz won both tennis points, earning a 6-1 women's tennis dual victory in Missoula on Feb. 28 and a 5-2 win in men's tennis in Missoula as well on April 24. Montana's golf team also placed one spot higher than Montana State's at the Big Sky Championship in Oregon on April 21 to pick up the Grizzlies' final point.

The Bobcat track and field program wrapped up the rivalry competition by scoring two points towards the Brawl of the Wild Series tally. MSU's men's team finished runner-up for its best finish at the Big Sky Championships since 2014. The Bobcat women placed third overall for their highest finish at the meet since 2015. Montana's squads placed sixth and seventh, respectively.

Two points are awarded to the winner of the Cat-Griz football game each season, but both schools did not compete in a full football schedule during the 2020-21 academic year. The men's basketball teams, normally scheduled to square off twice a season, were canceled due to coronavirus protocols. The Big Sky Conference Indoor Track and Field Championships were canceled due to local health restrictions and capacity concerns.

The Brawl of the Wild Series, presented by Town Pump, has been running for eight years with the introduction to the rivalry trophy being announced prior to the 2013-14 season. Montana State holds a 5-3 edge in the all-time series with Montana having won the first three years of the competition.