The Montana Tech Orediggers stunned the University of Montana Grizzlies in Dahlberg Arena on Monday night, serving them their first defeat by a non-D1 team since the 2002/2003 season and their first non-D1 defeat at home since the 1980/1981 season.
The game started out with two turnovers that left the Griz trailing 7-2 within the first 90 seconds. The teams traded baskets almost blow-for-blow, keeping the score close through the entire first half. They headed to the locker room tied 36-36.
Montana managed to edge out its opponents briefly in the second half, leading by as many as 7 points, but lost the lead to turnovers and strong 3-point shots from the Orediggers.
The final seconds of the game featured a 3-point shot from Montana Tech to put the Griz behind, and a desperate attempt to put 2 points on the board in the last 5 seconds from the Griz, which did not succeed.
The Griz will play the University of Washington Huskies away next, on Friday Nov. 22.
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University of Montana teammates battle their Montana Tech opponents under the hoop to win a rebound in the first half of The Orediggers' narrow victory over the Griz, 74-72, in Dahlberg Arena on Nov. 18, 2019. The loss marked the Grizzlies' first loss to a non-D1 opponent at home since the 1980-81 season.
University of Montana freshman guard Kyle Owens drives toward the hoop, struggling to get past the Montana Tech defense to score during the second half. Owens scored 14 points during the game, 10 of which came from his 10 free throw opportunities.
University of Montana senior guard Kendal Manuel battles Montana Tech defense while trying to get to the hoop during the second half of the game. Manuel led scoring for the game, charting 25 points.
University of Montana junior forward Mack Anderson descends on the Montana Tech defender after pushing the ball up to the hoop to score early in the first half.
The University of Montana bench celebrates a 3-point shot from teammate Kendal Manuel late in the second half. The points increased the Grizzlies' lead, but the Orediggers quickly recovered lost points to bring the score even again.
University of Montana freshman guard Kyle Owens speaks with the referee before taking free throws in the first half. Owens sunk all the free throws he shot during the game, 10 for 10.
University of Montana head coach Travis DeCuire yells instructions to his players on the court as the Griz struggle to keep pace with Montana Tech during the second half of the game. The Griz had three turnovers in the last minute-and-a-half of the game.
University of Montana guard Kyle Owens is pushed down from the hoop by an opponent's hand on his face.
The Montana Tech team celebrates its narrow victory over the Griz after the whistle blows.
University of Montana senior guard Sayeed Pridgett puts the ball up for a layup in the first half, knocking over the Montana Tech defender on the way up.
University of Montana forward Derrick Carter-Hollinger puts the ball up for a layup early in the first half of the game.
University of Montana guard Kyle Owens leans toward the hoop to get the ball up for a layup during the second half.