Energy, execution lead MSU men

BOZEMAN — Antonio Biglow scored 23 points and three other Bobcats finished in double-digits, as Montana State beat the University of Portland 83-64 in Bozeman on Sunday afternoon.

The Bobcats shot 53.6 percent in the first half and hit 27 of 39 free throw attempts to grab the team’s first win of 2012-13. MSU coach Brad Huse lauded his team for its work on the offensive end of the floor. “Our ball movement was really good,” Huse said. “Guys were cutting and sharing the basketball. We didn’t settle for (poor) shots. Overall it was a nice team effort.”

Montana State led wire-to-wire, with Biglow’s three-pointer the opening salvo. Jamie Stewart drained a trey to give MSU a 6-0 lead. Leading by six, 32-26, with four minutes left in the first half, the Bobcats closed with an 11-4 run to grab a 43-30 halftime advantage in spite of UP’s torrid 57% first half shooting. Starting with the last possession of the first half, the Bobcats forced five straight Portland turnovers, and held the Pilots scoreless until 16:02 of the second half.

“I thought we had a chance to get the lead up into the 20s in the second half,” Huse said, “but we botched some fast breaks, had some turnovers we shouldn’t have had, and missed some free throws. But we fought through that.”

Montana State forced 19 Portland turnovers and held the Pilots to 42.3% shooting in the second half. UP hit just three of its 14 three-pointers in the contest, while MSU drained eight of 16. The Bobcats also out-rebounded Portland 34-to-24.

“I feel really good about this win,” Huse said. “A week ago we didn’t feel like we played very good basketball (in a loss at Seattle), and today we feel good. We just have to keep working and keep practicing hard.”

The Bobcats even their record to 1-1 on the season, while Portland falls to 1-2. MSU’s next outing is at Air Force on Nov. 21, while Portland faces Portland State that same day.

— MSU Sports Information

Portland-MSU men’s stats