Photo Gallery: Griz Win Big Over Minot State 82-53

By AUSTIN SMITH

‘Tinkle’s Titans’ flexed some serious Montana muscle Wednesday evening to secure a contested 82-53 win over the Minot State Beavers.

The underdog Beavers initiated a high level of physicality at tip-off, grabbing an early lead with the impressively athletic play of junior guards Isiah Gandy and E.J. Williams.  It was not to be however, as senior Griz forward Mathias Ward plugged the levee with back to back treys and a defensive series that set the home team ablaze.

Refusing to back down in the face of a rough-hewn and handsy Minot defense, the Grizzlies congealed around Ward’s efforts mid-way through the first period in an inspiring rally that allowed them to coast in for this season’s second non-conference victory.

Keron DeShields continues to be an intense emotional leader for the Grizzlies and led a game-changing full court press that resulted in 11 total steals for Montana.  Minot came together for a scoring run late in the first period, but an indomitable DeShields forced a handful of crucial Beaver turnovers that ultimately and permanently swayed the momentum pendulum.

Ward may have earned top scoreboard honors for the night, logging 19 points with two rebounds and a single assist, but Monday’s victory was indeed a team effort.  Sophomore forward Kevin Henderson sought out the ball like a bloodhound, holding up his end of the roster with four steals, five rebounds, and six hard-fought points.

Juniors Spencer Coleman and Kareem Jamar tossed in 10 and 18 points, respectively, while simultaneously distributing the rock to contribute to Montana’s 19 total assists.  The collective fervor of DeShields, Henderson, Coleman, and Jamar crackled through Dahlberg Arena like lightning, electrifying the bench and eventually slamming the door on Minot’s buckteeth.

The boys will face the Idaho Vandals on the road this Saturday, and will return home for a November 24th matchup against the San Diego Toreros.

(CLICK ON PHOTOS TO ENLARGE)

Kareem Jamar anticipates contact during Monday's contest against Minot State.  Dahlberg Arena in Missoula, Mont., November 14th, 2012.
Kareem Jamar anticip...
UM Spirit Sqaud member Carley Jo Benda during Monday's 82-53 victory over Minot State.  Dahlberg Arena in Missoula, Mont., November 14th, 2012.
UM Spirit Sqaud memb...
Keron DeShields was a defensive powerhouse Wednesday evening, leading a full-court press that swayed momentum in Montana's favor and resulted in an 82-53 victory over Minot State.  Dahlberg Arena in Missoula, Mont., November 14th, 2012.
Keron DeShields was ...
UM's mischievous mascot Monte ogles the Sugar Bear dance team during a second period timeout Wednesday evening.  Dahlberg Arena in Missoula, Mont., November 14th, 2012.
UM's mischievou...
Sophomore guard Jordan Gregory passes in traffic to teammate Michael Weisner early in the first period of Wednesday's home game.  Dahlberg Arena in Missoula, Mont., November 14th, 2012.
Sophomore guard Jord...
Kareem Jamar is fouled on his way to the rim during the first period of Wednesday's victory.  Jamar ended the night with 18 points and five assists.  Dahlberg Arena in Missoula, Mont., November 14th, 2012.
Kareem Jamar is foul...
Gabriel Nordquist-Palmer, one of the Pep Band's percussionists, gets in the groove during Wednesday's warm-ups.  Dahlberg Arena in Missoula, Mont., November 14th, 2012.
Gabriel Nordquist-Pa...
A booted Will Cherry stands at center court during halftime warm-ups.  Cherry, starting point guard for the 2012 Championship team, injured his foot a few weeks before this season's commencement and has opted to wait for natural healing (as opposed to surgery) to prevent future injury.  Dahlberg Arena in Missoula, Mont., November 14th, 2012.
A booted Will Cherry...
Kevin Henderson breaks towards the paint after Montana's stifling full-court press yielded the last of his four steals Wednesday evening.  Dahlberg Arena in Missoula, Mont., November 14th, 2012.
Kevin Henderson brea...
Eric Hutchison struggled Wednesday evening, grabbing only two rebounds and scoring a single bucket in 13 minutes of play against Minot State.  Dahlberg Arena in Missoula, Mont., November 14th, 2012.
Eric Hutchison strug...

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Austin Smith in a tie

Austin Smith is a 21-year resident of the Missoula area, and an ardent fisherman, hunter, and snowboarder. When not working on the University of Montana campus, taking classes in the Journalism program, or contributing to the social media efforts of several local organizations, he enjoys spending time outdoors with his Akita and his family.