(Editor's Note: Montana State Press Release)
OGDEN, Utah -- Weber State shot over 60% from the field, including a 67.7% clip during the second half, as the Wildcats defeated Montana State 96-88 in the Dee Events Center on Thursday. Weber State's victory over MSU ended the Bobcat men's basketball team's winning streak at seven games.
The Bobcats and Wildcats went back-and-forth for the game's opening five minutes, but a 9-0 MSU run capped by an Xavier Bishop 3-pointer put the 'Cats up 21-12 at the 13:03 mark of the first half.
Weber State slowly chipped at Montana State's early advantage. The Wildcats overtook the Bobcats with 3:36 remaining in the opening period and went ahead by five with two minutes left on the clock. However, the Bobcats outscored the Wildcats 10-3 to finish the frame. An Abdul Mohamed offensive rebound and layup as the buzzer sounded put MSU ahead 45-43 at halftime.
The Wildcats came out firing to open the second half. They hit six of their first eight shots and jumped out to a 54-47 edge just three minutes in. Weber State went up by as many as 13 at the 6:14 mark in the half. Montana State continued to battle and momentarily cut the deficit to a single possession with one minute remaining behind a Bishop layup. The Wildcats came right back and on the ensuing possession WSU's Isiah Brown made a jumper to seal it.
Weber State made 21 of its 31 shots in the contest's final 20 minutes of play and were 38 of 60 overall (63.3%) for the game. The Wildcats finished with a 58-24 edge in points in the paint and controlled the glass out-rebounding the Bobcats 28-24.
"Defensively I wasn't happy at all," Montana State head coach Danny Sprinklesaid. "We showed up with the wrong mindset. We came in trying to out-score them and that's as good as we can play offensively. We didn't give them any resistance. It's just not good enough (to win games)."
Montana State went 27-for-55 (49.1%) from the field and made 13 of 26 3-pointers. MSU was led offensively by Mohamed who scored a career-high 18 points. He was one of six Bobcats in double figures which included Jubrile Belo (17), Bishop (15), Amin Adamu (15) and Borja Fernandez (10). Mohamed paced MSU on the glass with six rebounds as Belo picked up two fouls early in the first half. Bishop had a game-high seven assists.
Six Wildcats scored in double digits as Brown and Dontay Bassett matched each other for a team high of 17 points. Bassett also had two blocks while Dillon Jones had a team-high six rebounds.
Montana State fell to 9-4 overall while the Bobcats' undefeated start to the Big Sky slate ended as they dropped to 6-1. Weber State improved to 10-4 (5-2 BSC) with the victory.
The two teams return to the Dee Events Center Saturday for the second game of the head-to-head series. The contest is scheduled to begin at 12 p.m.