MISSOULA — Forward Kevin Henderson nailed a three-point shot with 2.5 seconds remaining in the game to give the host University of Montana Grizzlies a dramatic 67-66 victory over the University of San Diego Toreros Saturday evening in UM’s Dahlberg Arena.
The Toreros (3-4) led most of the game, although the lead did change hands five times and was tied up on four occasions.
San Diego took a 7-point (65-58) lead with 5:04 left to play on a jump shot by sophomore guard Johnny Dee. The Griz cut the Toreros’ lead to 65-64 on a lay-up by senior forward Mathias Ward with 11 seconds to play.
The Grizzlies (3-1) immediately fouled Dee after Ward’s tip-in, and he hit the front end of a free throw, but missed the second, and Ward grabbed the rebound.
Montana, which had no timeouts remaining, then raced down the floor after Ward’s rebound, and junior guard-forward dished the ball to Henderson who was on the right side of the baseline and he canned the three-pointer, which proved to be the game-winner.
USD sophomore point guard Christopher Anderson got off a desperation three-point shot at the buzzer, which was from about 35 feet out, but it was long, to the left and off the backboard, and Montana had its third win of the season.
The only tie of the game in the second half came with 10:01 remaining, on a lay-up by Griz sophomore guard Keron DeShields.
Henderson, a sophomore from Auburn, Wash., scored his only points of the second half on his game-winning trey. His three-pointer, which was made possible by Jamar’s 11th (which ties his career high) assist of the game, gave the Grizzlies them the a one-point advantage, which was UM’s only lead of the second half.
USD jumped to an early 7-0 lead thanks to a three-pointer by Dee with 18:47 to go in the opening half. The largest lead by the Toreros was 11 points (27-16), and they maintained their lead for most of the first 20 minutes. The Griz whittled away on USD’s lead though, and took their only first-half lead (31-29, with 1:52 left in the half) on a bank shot by sophomore forward Mike Weisner.
However, the Toreros regained the lead back, once again on a three-pointer by Dee with 41 second to go until the break, and USD led 32-31 at intermission, and the Griz never led again until Henderson connected on his game-winning three-pointer.
Ward led the way with a season-high 23 points – his fourth career game with 20 of more points. He made 8-of-14 shots and was 4-of-5 from the line. Henderson, who scored six points in the first half, made 3-of-4 three-point attempts on the game, and was UM’s second leading scorer with 9 points.
Jamar struggled in the contest, making just 2-of-9 shots, but had 8 points, a team-high 6 rebounds, and tied his career-high with the 11 assists.
Dee led USD with 22 points and made 4-of-7 three-pointers. Anderson was the Toreros’ other double-figure scorer with 12 points.
Montana in on the road for a pair of difficult road games, at BYU Wednesday, Nov. 28, and at the University of San Francisco on Friday, Nov. 30.
— UM Sports Information
UNIV. OF SAN DIEGO (3-4): DEE, Johnny 8-13 2-3 22; ANDERSON, Chris 5-11 2-2 12; RANCIFER, Ken 3-8 0-1 8; KRAMER, Dennis 3-8 0-1 6; STACKHOUSE, Keith 2-3 0-0 5; KOK, Jito 2-5 1-2 5; FAJEMISIN, Simi 2-4 0-2 4; MILES, Cameron 1-1 2-2 4; SINIS, John 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 26-54 7-13 66.
UNIVERSITY OF MONTANA (3-1): WARD, Mathias 8-14 4-5 23; HENDERSON, Kevin 3-5 0-0 9; COLEMAN, Spencer 4-4 0-0 8; JAMAR, Kareem 2-9 3-6 8; DESHIELDS, Keron 2-3 2-3 6; WEISNER, Mike 2-4 0-0 5; MARTIN, Andy 2-2 0-0 4; GREGORY, Jordan 1-3 2-2 4; HUTCHISON, Eric 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 24-44 11-16 67.
Univ. of San Diego…………… 32 34 — 66
University of Montana……… 31 36 — 67
3-point goals — Univ. of San Diego 7-14 (DEE, Johnny 4-7; RANCIFER, Ken 2-3; STACKHOUSE, Keith 1-1; KRAMER, Dennis 0-2; ANDERSON, Chris 0-1), University of Montana 8-18 (HENDERSON, Kevin 3-4; WARD, Mathias 3-6; JAMAR, Kareem 1-3; WEISNER, Mike 1-3; GREGORY, Jordan 0-1; DESHIELDS, Keron 0-1).
Fouled out — Univ. of San Diego-None, University of Montana-None.
Rebounds — Univ. of San Diego 29 (RANCIFER, Ken 6), University of Montana 26 (JAMAR, Kareem 6).
Assists — Univ. of San Diego 12 (ANDERSON, Chris 7), University of Montana 14 (JAMAR, Kareem 11).
Total fouls — Univ. of San Diego 16, University of Montana 16.
Technical fouls —Univ. of San Diego-None, University of Montana-None.
Attendance — 3,270