Nov. 26, 2011
Guard Will Cherry hit a short jump shot with 38 seconds to go which enabled The University of Montana Grizzlies to retake the lead, and the Griz went on to defeat a talented Long Beach State 49er team 73-71 in an exciting game Saturday evening in UM's Dahlberg Arena.
The 49ers (3-2) took their final lead of the contest at 68-66 with 1:23 on two free throws by senior guard Casper Ware. UM senior forward Derek Selvigthen made one of two free throws to cut the LBSU lead to one (68-67), then Cherry scored his go-ahead bucket and Montana led the rest of the way.
The Grizzlies (4-2) went ahead by five late in the game when Selvig nailed two critical free throws with eight seconds left, making it 73-68, UM. But a three-pointer by senior guard Larry Anderson cut the margin to two (73-71) with three ticks left. Selvig then missed two charity shots, but the 49ers' desperation shot at the buzzer hit high on the backboard and Montana had the victory.
It was an energy-charged game, with eight lead changes and eight ties.
"I thought there would maybe be more people here for a team of this caliber but boy were they loud, and they were loud at the right times," said Griz head coach Wayne Tinklesaid. "With that sort of support you can see what our guys are capable of."
"They (the 49ers) are very talented, Coach (Dan) Monson and his staff do a very good job," Tinkle said. "Our guys, against some adversity, found a way to hang in there and close it out."
"Casper Ware had 11 of his 15 in the first half while Will was on the bench," Tinkle said. "We told him at halftime that we were going to need his leadership, he took upon himself and locked (Ware) down, and he made some timely plays for us on the offensive end."
With the scored tied at 22-22 and 8:21 left to play in the first half, LBSU out-scored Montana 8-0, and took a 30-22 lead with 5:49 left until halftime on a three-pointer by Ware. The 49ers led by as many as 11 (38-27) points in the first half, but a three-pointers by guards Kareem Jamar and Keron DeShields, and a jumper by Jamar at the buzzer cut the LBSU lead to 38-32 at the break.
Selvig, who started his first game after suffering an early-season ankle injury, scored a team-high 14 points for the Griz. Cherry added 13 - all in the second half, while Jamar had 12. Junior forward Mathias Wardled UM with 8 rebounds and also added 9 points while Selvig and Jamar each had 7. Jamar also had 6 assists and 2 blocks.
LBSU senior forward T.J. Robinson had game-highs of 25 points and 13 rebounds, while Ware had 15, and Anderson scored 13.
The Griz return to action against the University of San Francisco Dons (5-2) next Thursday, Dec. 1, in a 7:00 p.m. game in UM's Dahlberg Arena. The 49ers play at No. 7 Louisville (4-0) on Monday, Nov. 28.
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