Griz Shoot the Lights Out, Beat LCS 78-67 (Photo Gallery)

By AUSTIN SMITH

The Grizzlies started off slow Wednesday evening but coalesced around the leadership of Keron DeShields and Kareem Jamar, ultimately coasting to a 78-67 victory over the Lewis-Clark State Warriors.

The Warriors took advantage of sloppy and unfocused Grizzly play from the buzzer, disrupting Montana’s momentum but failing to capitalize on the shooting opportunities they created.

Junior guard Jordan Gregory drew first blood after a minute and a half of play, draining the first of his four total three-pointers to put the Griz in a lead that would remain unchallenged.

Jamar. Photo by Austin Smith

Kareem Jamar. Photo by Austin Smith.

Montana dominated the low block and scored twice as many first half points in the paint (6-14) as Lewis-Clark.  Gregory, Jamar and DeShields tallied 20, 19 and 15 points, respectively.  Gregory was also a force in the paint, backing up his flush offensive numbers with a team-high of seven rebounds.

The win did not come without its lessons however: Point guard Mario Dunn Jr. took some flak from Head Coach Wayne Tinkle shortly before halftime for displaying a young player’s lack of situational awareness and failing to run down the clock.  A few minutes later, Kareem Jamar was pulled from the floor, grimacing in pain after an awkward landing at the second half’s 10-minute mark.

Dunn, a true freshman, will continue to see on-court minutes and, if he improves, may have a spot in the starting five.  Jamar’s condition is unknown, but the Griz will do well to have the 2012-13 standout at full health as they look to improve on their NCAA tourney record next March.  He remained on the bench and hobbled into time-out huddles, but was taken to the locker room before the final buzzer.

The Griz now face two road games – Minnesota on Nov. 12 and South Dakota State on Nov. 14 – before returning to Dahlberg Arena on Nov. 22 to host the University of San Francisco Dons.  Big Sky Conference play will commence in January 2014.

BOX SCORE & GAME STATS (PDF)   CLICK ON PHOTOS TO ENLARGE

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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.