Grizzlies Edge Vikings 82-76 in Hard-Fought Overtime Contest (Photo Gallery)


Junior guard Keron DeShields scored 11 of his 19 points in overtime to lead the University of Montana Grizzlies to an emotional 82-76 Big Sky Conference win over the visiting Portland State Vikings Thursday evening in UM’s Dahlberg Arena.

DeShields, a junior from Baltimore, also had two key plays for the Griz (6-5 Big Sky/11-9 overall) late in regulation, as he scored on a lay-up with 16 seconds to go to force the overtime, after the Vikings had taken a 69-67 lead with 25 seconds to go on a pair of free throws by junior guard DaShaun Wiggins.

It was a nip-and-tuck final few minutes.  The Vikings (6-5/11-9) took a 67-65 lead with 59 seconds remaining when junior guard Tim Douglas made one-of-two free throws.  But, once again DeShields was the man of the hour, as he converted two free throws to knot the game up for the seventh time, 67-67, with 49 ticks left.

Photo by Elliott Natz

Junior guard Keron DeShields scored 11 of his 19 points in overtime. 2/6/14 Photo by Elliott Natz.

The game was dead-locked for the ninth and final time at 71-71 on a lay-up by Douglas with 3:40 to go in the overtime.  The Griz took the lead for good when senior guard/forward Kareem Jamar made the first of two charity shots, making the score 72-71 with 3:22 left to play.

After Jamar’s free throw had given Montana that one-point (72-71) edge, DeShields scored six straight points for his team on three lay-ups, and his third gave the Griz a 78-73 lead 26 seconds to go.   After that the Griz made 5-of-7 free throws to maintain their cushion, and get the hard-fought win.

The Griz jumped to a 34-26 halftime lead thanks to 15 points by junior forward Mike Weisner, who was 6-of-7 from the field and made all three of his 3-point shots.

Early in the second half UM extended it lead to 10-points at 36-26, but PSU battled back, and tied the game at 47-47 with 10:46 to go on a trey by junior guard Gary Winston.  It was back-and-forth after that, with three more lead changes and three ties in regulation.

DeShields and Jamar each led Montana with a team-high 19 points each.  Weisner finished with 15 – all of those coming in the first half.  Also in double figures for the Griz was freshman guard Mario Dunn with 10 points.  Jamar added team-highs of 7 rebounds and 5 assists.

Jamar’s 19 points gives him 1,496 for his career, which moves him up to seventh all-time, passing former teammate Will Cherry, who scored 1,484 points from 2010-13.  Jamar also moved up to fifth on UM’s career assists list with 377, passing former Griz great Micheal Ray Richardson, who had 372 career assists from 1974-78.

Senior forward Kyle Richardson led the Vikings with career-highs of 25 points and 12 rebounds, and made 10-of-15 shots from the floor.  Gary Winston added 16 points, while Wiggins had 11, and Douglas chipped in 10.

Earlier this season the Griz lost a triple overtime thriller, 81-78, to the Vikings in Portland.

Montana hosts Eastern Washington this Saturday, Feb. 8.  The Eagles defeated host Montana State 79-50 tonight.