Road Grind continues as Bobcats open Big Sky Play in northern Colorado
BOZEMAN, Mont. – Montana State opens the first two games of its Big Sky Conference schedule on the road this week. The Bobcats will play Northern Colorado on Thursday starting at 6:00 p.m. MT, then move to face Sacramento State on Saturday at 2:00 p.m. MT.
MSU begins its league roster against northern Colorado for the second year in a row. The 2020-21 season featured a Big Sky schedule in which teams competed in back-to-back matches mostly at the same venue. The Bobcats won both clashes against northern Colorado in Greeley. The ‘Cats opened the series with a 79-67 win on January 7, then completed the sweep with a 76-74 overtime win on January 9. The sweep of the season was the first for MSU against UNC since the 2006-07 season.
The first clash a season ago featured MSU using a 21-1 second-half streak en route to victory. The ‘Cats trailed to 13 in the second half of Game 2 before tying it up and ultimately survived a litany of the Bears’ 3-point attempts at the overtime buzzer. Amin Adamu scored a career-high 36 points in Game 2, while Xavier Bishop’s performances of 28 and 22 points in a row earned him Big Sky Player of the Week honors.
Montana State continues to stand on the road throughout the season with its Big Sky opener. The Bobcats have already played five straight away games, but have just been undefeated at the UIW Thanksgiving Invitational in San Antonio. MSU scored victories over Portland, Incarnate Word and SEMO in three days. The 3-0 regular season tournament title was the second in three years for the ‘Cats.
Montana State completed the first two games of its road pit abandonment contests in South Dakota State and New Mexico. The Bobcats fell to the Jackrabbits at Frost Arena on November 17, 91-74 as the SDSU took a 17-point lead at halftime shooting 60% from the field and a 7-for-9 mark from 3 points to open. the game.
The ‘Cats and Lobos traded advances throughout the second half of their pitfall clash on November 20, but New Mexico rode the wave of a crowd of over 9,000 en route to an 81-78 win. The Bobcats dominated the Lobos on the field, but New Mexico’s 10 additional trips to the charity provided the necessary boost for a win. MSU was led by six double-digit scorers in loss.
The state of Montana was punctuated by his starting training of Amin Adamu, Jubrile Belo, Xavier Bishop, Abdel Mohamed and Tyler Patterson each playing more than 26 minutes per contest. All five Bobcats have a two-digit average in the rating column.
Jubrile Belo rose through Montana State’s historic ranks as he led the team in multiple categories. Belo is approaching the 850 point threshold in the middle of his third year at MSU. He earned two spots on the career block list in his five-block effort against SEMO. He currently ranks seventh all-time in program history with 78 blocks.
The Bobcats rank at the top of the Big Sky Conference in several areas. MSU is first in assists per game at 16.6, while the ‘Cats are second in free throws and field goals percentage, field goal percentage at 3 points, field goals to 3 points and the ratio of assists.
Montana State’s games in northern Colorado and Sacramento State will each air on ESPN +. The game will also air on the Bobcat Radio Network on KMMS 1450 AM, with Voice of the Bobcats Zach mackey on the call Thursday, as well as on the Varsity Network app. Links for live broadcasts, live stats and radio coverage are available on the men’s basketball program page at msubobcats.com.