Bobcats host Oredigger men

BOZEMAN — Brad Huse knows what to expect from Montana Tech, his alma mater, when Montana State hosts the Diggers Thursday at 7 p.m. in Worthington arena.

He knows because he remembers.

“I played at Montana Tech, and we played at Montana one year,” said MSU’s seventh-year head coach. “We had that game circled on our calendar all summer.” While Huse was an assistant at the Butte school, Tech battled the Bobcats on even ground for an entire 40 minutes before falling 50-45.

Huse said this year’s Montana Tech team presents a challenge. “They execute really well, they shoot good percentages, they’re real comfortable with their rotations, they’re personnel. They know where to go (when they need) a basket.”

Many of Montana Tech’s baskets come from 6-7 forward Adam Greger, a sophomore from Florence. Greger averages 19.3 points a game, grabs 6.8 boards, and shoots 48.8 percent from the floor. Junior guard Bryan Bock chips in 12.7 points a game, while junior guard Travis Peevey leads the team with 19 three-pointers while shooting 48.7 percent from beyond the arc.

While Montana Tech enters the contest with a 6-3 mark, the Bobcats stand 1-5 after dropping consecutive narrow home decisions last weekend against Pepperdine and Oregon State. Huse said his primary goal for his team in the 11 days leading up to the Big Sky Conference opener at NAU on December 17 is consistency.

“I want us to have some success,” he said. “We’ve had some great stretches. In every game we’ve played you can point to five or 10 minutes where we’ve played really good basketball. We have to strive for consistency for longer stretches of time.”

Some of MSU’s inconsistency has stemmed from changing personnel. Since returning to the lineup four games ago, wing Xavier Blount has averaged 14.5 points per game, the highest mark on the squad, while pulling down 4.3 rebounds per outing. Guard Antonio Biglow (13.8) and Jamie Stewart (10.3) have also carried much of the scoring load But the Bobcats shoot 38.5 percent from the floor, while opponents shoot 50.3 percent.

Huse knows his squad will run into a team that is ready to play on Thursday night. “They’ve had time to prepare,” Huse said of Tech. “We know they’ll defend the heck out of us.”

— MSU Sports Information