Over 3,000 fans filled the Adams Center Nov. 29 and watched the University of Montana men’s basketball team hold off Coppin State University to win 69-62. The win marked Montana’s second in a row for the 2019-2020 season.
“There's no question we've improved in quite a few areas,” said UM head coach Travis Decuire in a press release. “We're showing some signs of potentially being a good basketball team."
While the men won in Missoula, the Lady Griz basketball team traveled to Fullerton, California, where it failed to beat Santa Clara University, losing 58-68. The loss brought the Lady Griz’s record to 2-3.
Santa Clara jumped to a quick 23-7 lead over the Lady Griz, as the Broncos connected with five 3-pointers in the first quarter alone.
Montana was able to cut Santa Clara’s lead to 9 near the end of the first half and were only 5 points behind in the third quarter. The Broncos finished strong, however, and were able to corral the Montana comeback.
Gabi Harrington and Emma Stockholm led the Lady Griz in scoring, each scoring 12 points.
The Lady Griz will continue the Titan Classic tournament with California State Fullerton, Nov. 30.
For the men’s team, the game was its third win of the season and raised its record to 3-4. The Griz have gone 3-1 at home. While away, the team has been winless after playing against three Power 5 conference opponents.
Redshirt senior Sayed Pridgett led the team in scoring with 19 points and also had 12 rebounds. Junior Timmy Falls performed the best he has so far this season, adding 14 points to the Griz total. True freshman Derrick Carter-Hollinger averaged 71% on field goals and finished with 10 points, recording his first career double-double.
Montana started the game strong, shooting at 54% from inside the arc. Paired with points from Falls and Kendal Manuel, the Griz took control in the beginning and went on an 11-2 run to lead 26-14 with 7:57 left in the half. At halftime Montana led 42-29.
The Griz defense forced over 11 turnovers on the Eagles while making it difficult for the visiting team to score points. Coppin State only made 37% of its shots for the whole game, with Kamar McKnight leading the Eagles on 15 points.
In the second half, Coppin State rallied to get 6 points from Montana’s advantage with three minutes left in the game. However, the Eagles never took the lead, and the Griz stalled through the rest of the regulation to seal the victory.
Coppin state traveled from Baltimore, Maryland for the game as a part of the Collegiate Hoops
Roadshow tournament, a non-bracket competition that included Arkansas and Montana Tech. Both Sayeed Pritchett and Timmy Falls made the all-tournament team.
Montana will hit the road and play New Mexico on Dec. 1. The Lobos recently beat Wisconsin. Then, the Griz play nationally ranked Oregon Dec. 18.