Grizzlies Defeat Eagles 82-77 and Win Fourth Game in a Row (Photo Gallery)


Senior guard/forward Kareem Jamar moved up a notch on the all-time career scoring list and tallied a team-high 23 points to lead the University of Montana Grizzlies to an 82-77 Big Sky Conference win over the visiting Eastern Washington Eagles Saturday evening in UM’s Dahlberg Arena.

The Grizzlies improved to 7-5 in league play and 12-9 overall, and have now won four games in a row and five of their last six.  The Eagles are now 5-7/10-13, and had a four-game win streak halted.

Jamar now has 1,519 career points to move up to sixth on Montana’s all-time list, as he passed his mentor – current Griz head coach Wayne Tinkle, who scored 1,500 career points from 1986-89.

There were no lead changes and zero ties in the contest, but EWU overcame a 16-point (48-32) UM lead early in the second half( with 16:51 remaining), and cut the Griz advantage to five or six points several times in the closing five-plus minutes.

When Eagle guard Tyler Harvey converted two free throws, EWU trailed just by five point at 63-58 with 5:25 left to play.  About flour minutes later, the Griz went ahead 72-63 when Mario Dunn made one-of-two free throws with 1:26 left.  After Dunn’s charity shot have given the Griz a nine-point lead the Eagles turned the game into a free throw contest, fouling several times to try to prolong the contest and make a comeback.

EWU’s fouling plan almost paid off, but Montana converted just of its charity shots – going nine-of-14  in the final 1:15 to hold off the Eagles.

EWU cut Montana’s lead to three at 80-77 with four seconds left in the game on a lay-up by junior guard Drew Brandon.  After Brandon’s score the Eagles fouled Keron DeShields, and the junior guard made both of his free throws, making it the final, 82-77, with three seconds to go.

Jamar, who scored 14 points in the second half, was 7-of-13 from the field, made 2-of-5 treys and 7-of-8 free throws.  He has scored 20 or more points in four of UM’s last five games.

Harvey, a 6-4 sophomore and the Big Sky’s leading scorer, had a game-high 24 points, but was 6-of-18 from the floor, made 1-of-8 three pointers, and made all 11 of his free throw attempts.  Brandon scored 19 points, and 6-10 junior forward Martin Seiferth added 12 points and 9 rebounds.  The teams had 38 rebounds apiece.

Jordan Gregory added 14 points for the Griz, while DeShields scored 13, and junior forward Mike Weisner.  Sophomore center Andy Martin had a team and career-high 7 rebounds, along with 3 blocks.

The Griz had eight different players score in the first half, led by Jamar’s 9 points, and Martin had 6 rebounds in the first 20 minutes of play.

Montana is on the road next week, playing at Northern Colorado on Thursday (an Altitude TV game), Feb. 13, and at Northern Dakota on Saturday, Feb. 15.  EWU hosts Sacramento State and Northern Arizona next week.