BOZEMAN — Eric Norman’s career night paced Montana State to a 109-79 win over Southwestern Christian in Worthington Arena on Thursday night, but the game’s main storyline was one of long balls.
The two teams combined for 27 three-pointers – a season-high 13 for the Bobcats, and a near-averaged 14 for the visiting Eagles. MSU dominated every facet other than three-point shooting in coasting to the win, but MSU coach Brad Huse said it was anything but easy.
“They did a great job moving the basketball and obviously shot it well from every spot on the floor,” he said of an SCU squad that didn’t feature a player over 6-5, but which had five three-point threats on the floor at all times. They’re a tough matchup. That’s their primary trait, they really shoot the threes.”
The Bobcats answered with an efficient and explosive offensive night. MSU shot 62.1% from the floor, including 13-of-24 from the three-point circle, the most treys of the season. The Bobcats also out-rebounded SCU 42-23, easily the largest margin of 2013-14, and assisted on 22 of the 41 field goals.
“Obviously we got after it on the offensive end,” Huse said. “I’m very happy with our work on that end of the floor.”
Norman paced the Bobcats throughout the night, but sparked the team when one was needed. “This whole season he’s brought great energy,” Huse said. “He’s played hard. His aggressiveness tonight was a big key for us.”
The 6-9 junior scored a career-high 16 points, but also posted career highs in rebounds (nine) and blocked shots (three), and assists. Four other Bobcats – Stephan Holm (18), Calen Coleman (16), Michael Dison (12), and Terrell Brown (10) – scored in double figures. The team allowed 14 SCU three-pointers, but limited the Eagles to 43% shooting from the floor and 42% from beyond the arc.
Montana State visits UTEP next Monday at 7 pm before beginning Big Sky play with a January 2 home game against Sacramento State.
— MSU Sports Information