MOSCOW, Idaho — University of Montana senior guard/forward Kareem Jamar made a pair of free throws with 4.1 seconds left to play to lead the Grizzlies to an exciting 72-71 come-from-behind non-league victory over the University of Idaho Vandals Saturday afternoon in UI’s Cowan Spectrum.
Jamar’s game-winning charity shots, which gave Montana its only lead of the game, were set up on a crucial steal by true freshman guard Mario Dunn.
The final outcome of the intense game came down to the final 19 seconds. After Idaho had taken a three-point (71-68) lead when senior guard Glen Dean made one-of-two free throw shots with 17 seconds left to play, Jamar cut the Vandals lead to a point at 71-70, when he connected on two free throws with 13 seconds to go.
After Jamar trimmed UI’s lead to just a point, Dunn made his second consecutive steal in the final seconds of play. Idaho in-bounded the ball after Jamar’s two charity shots, and then Dunn cut off a pass, grabbed the ball and flipped it over his shoulder to Jamar. Jamar was fouled then on an attempted lay-up, and then calmly nailed the subsequent free throws to score the game-winning points.
The Vandals had a chance for a last-second win, but junior guard Mike’s Scott long 3-point attempt from about 23 fee out hit the back of the rim and bounced off, the game-ending buzzer sounded and the Griz had the hard-earned win.
With the win, the Griz conclude their 2013-14 non-league schedule with a 5-4 record, and have now won their four consecutive games. Idaho is now 6-8. It was the second win for the Grizzlies over the Vandals this season, as UM defeated UI 69-58 in Missoula on Dec. 11.
The Grizzlies were deadly from the line in the second half, making 18-of-18 charity shots. Jamar missed his first free throw attempt of the game, but then made 11 in a row, and he was 8-of-8 in the second half.
For the game, Montana made 26-of-32 (81.4%) free throws, while Idaho struggled, going 18-of-33 (54.5%), and UI was 5-of-10 from the line in the final half, while UM was perfect on its 18 attempts.
Jamar scored a team-high 26 points, going 7-of-10 from the floor and 11-of-12 from the stripe, and tallied 19 second-half points. Griz junior guard Jordan Gregory added 19 points, including 12 in the second half, and he scored 6 points in the final 2:43 of the game, and also grabbed a career-high 4 steals.
Gregory was 4–of-4 from the line in the second half, as was senior center Eric Hutchison. Dunn made both of his free throw attempts, scored points and had both steals in the final 20 minutes. Junior guard Keron DeShields chipped in 8 points, while Dunn and Hutchison scored 6 points each.
Jamar now has 1,285 career points to remain 12th all-time at Montana, and he needs just five more points to pass forward Derrick Pope (1,289 points, 1980-83) and move up to 11th.
Idaho senior forward Stephen Madison scored a game-high 35 points, going 11-of-15 from the floor and 12-of-18 from the line. UI junior guard Connor Hill, who scored 24 points in the teams’ earlier meeting this season, was 2-of-10 from the field and had 5 points.
The Griz continue to have rebounding difficulties, as the Vandals out-boarded them 42-24, and UI had a had 13 more offensive rebounds (17-4). Madison and junior forward Bira Seck led Idaho with 10 rebounds each. Jamar led UM with 8 rebounds.
Montana begins its Big Sky Conference schedule next week, hosting Northern Arizona, Thursday, Jan. 2, and Sacramento State on Saturday, Jan. 4, with both games tipping off at 7:05 p.m. in UM’s Dahlberg Arena. Idaho will re-join the Big Sky Conference next season and participate in all sports except for football.
— Montana Sports Information