Free Throws With a Little Will Cherry On Top Lead Griz to a Win Over PSU


Free throws and a little Will Cherry magic led the Montana Grizzlies to a 62-55 win over the Portland State Vikings Saturday evening.

The Griz hopped out to an early lead, but struggled mightily against a brick-wall Portland defense that forced a total of 11 turnovers.  Montana’s freshman center Andy Martin had a brilliant showing down low, dominating the key on both ends of the court and helping the Griz score 26 crucial points in the paint.

The Vikings had a glimmer of hope for the better part of the first half, propped up by junior Aaron Moore (14 points, 11 rebounds) and senior Renado Parker (12 points, seven rebounds).  That hope was decisively snuffed at the five-minute mark however, when Kevin Henderson’s ‘and-1’ was immediately followed by a Cherry steal, fast break, and nothing-but-net perimeter bucket.

That series shifted momentum towards the maroon bench once and for all, giving Montana the lead they needed to stave off a Viking run that came too little too late towards the end of the second half.  By the final whistle, Cherry was one of three Grizzlies in double digits for scoring and nearly squeaked out a double-double with 7 assists on the board.

As a team Montana shot 90% from the free throw line, and nearly exhibited the depth they’ll need to make it the Big Dance by adding 15 points off the bench.

The Griz are now 9-4 overall, and are currently enjoying a four-game Big Sky Conference win streak that will carry them into Grand Forks, North Dakota next Thursday, January 10th.  The North Dakota Fighting Sioux are 3-2 in conference play, with an overall record of 5-8.  After NoDak the Griz continue their road trip and will face the Northern Colorado Bears on Saturday, January 12th.

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