Montana Lets Lead Slip Away at Weber State


For much of Saturday night, it looked as if Montana would extend its winning streak to six games over Weber State. Montana led for all but 2 minutes of regulation, including by seven points with under 2 minutes to play, before Weber State closed the period on an 8-1 run to force overtime.

The back-and-forth overtime period saw five lead changes, but ultimately, untimely turnovers cost the Grizzlies in an 87-85 defeat.

Montana turned the ball over a season-low five times, but two of them came in big moments down the stretch.

After Weber State tied the game at 72-72 with 7.2 seconds remaining in regulation, Sayeed Pridgett drove the length of the court. He split two defenders and looked to have a lane for the game-winning bucket, but dribbled the ball off of his knee in the paint. Again in overtime, Montana got the ball back after Derrick Carter-Hollinger took a charge but, with the Grizzlies trailing by one with 27 seconds to play, miscommunication led to another Griz turnover.

Sayeed Pridgett. Photo Courtesy of Grizzly Athletics.

Pridgett established a career high with 33 points, connecting on 14 made shots and playing all 45 minutes. He was one of four Grizzlies in double figures, including Timmy Falls, who tied a career high with 16 points, and Josh Vazquez, who totaled 12 while making all four of his three-point attempts.

Montana led by as many as 12 in the first half and looked to be in control after a Pridgett jumper put the Grizzlies up seven, 71-64, with 2:02 to play. In the closing 2 minutes, though, Weber State out-scored the Grizzlies 8-1, making three of its four shots while Montana missed all three, plus a free throw, and turned the ball over once.

Falls was nearly unstoppable in the first half, scoring 14 of his 16 points and doing so on 6-of-7 shooting. The junior was limited in the second half due to foul trouble – eventually fouling out with 5 minutes to play in regulation – but still finished with 16 points, three assists and four rebounds.

Vazquez was shooting just 1-of-19 from deep during league play entering the night, but caught fire with four makes on four attempts. His 12 points were more than he had scored in his past seven games combined.

Game Notables

  • The loss snaps Montana’s four-game winning streak dating back to Jan. 9. During that time, the Grizzlies had won two consecutive road contests.
  • The loss snaps Montana’s five-game winning streak over the Wildcats dating back to January 2017. The Grizzlies had previously won back-to-back games inside the Dee Events Center.
  • The Grizzlies led for all but 2:17 in regulation, and never trailed by more than two points until overtime.
  • The Grizzlies led by as many as 12 points late in the first half, and nine points in the second half.
  • During the first half, Montana’s defense held Weber State without a made basket for more than 5 minutes, with the Wildcats missing eight consecutive shots.
  • Weber State opened the second half on a 9-0 run to regain the lead, 45-43. Montana quickly recaptured the lead, however, and led for the final 11:34 of regulation, until the Wildcats tied the game at 72-72 with 7 seconds remaining.
  • Montana led by seven, 71-64, with 2 minutes to play in regulation, before the Wildcats closed on an 8-1 run. During that time, Montana was 0-for-3 shooting with a turnover while the Wildcats made 3-of-4 shot attempts.
  • Senior Sayeed Pridgett established a career high with 33 points on 14-of-29 shooting. Pridgett also led the Grizzlies with eight rebounds while playing all 45 minutes (career high).
  • Freshman Josh Vazquez scored 12 points on 4-of-4 shooting from three-point range. Vazquez also stole four passes, had four assists, pulled down five rebounds and played a career-high 40 minutes.
    • Entering Saturday, Vazquez was in a cold spell, missing 18 of 19 three-point attempts since the start of league play. That quickly ended with his 4-for-4 performance.
    • Vazquez’s 12 points were more than he had scored in the past seven games combined.
  • Junior Timmy Falls scored a career-high-tying 16 points on 7-of-9 shooting, including 14 points in the first half. Falls added three assists, as well, before fouling out with 5 minutes to play in regulation.
  • Sophomore Mack Anderson played 27 minutes off the bench, scoring nine points on 3-of-4 shooting. He also blocked a shot.
  • Montana turned the ball over a season-low five times.
  • The Grizzlies shot 50.0 percent overall for the game, including 59.4 percent in the first half. Montana made half of its three-point attempts (8-of-16), tying a season best for three-point percentage.
  • After limiting Weber State to 35.5 percent shooting in the first half, the Wildcats shot 61.5 percent in the second half and overtime.
  • The Grizzlies were whistled for twice as many fouls as Weber State (22 to 11), with the Wildcats taking 28 free-throw attempts compared to 11 for the Grizzlies.
  • Saturday marked the first time this season Montana has lost after leading at halftime (7-1).
  • Quoting DeCuire
    (on his message to the team postgame)
    “I gave them three things. One: defense. That’s what we pride ourselves in, and we didn’t do a good job of that tonight in the second half. Discipline. Discipline cost us down the stretch – a couple fouls that didn’t need to be made, lack of execution offensively. The last thing was desperation. The way they celebrated after the game, you could tell that team was desperate for a win, they wanted it bad, and I’m not sure how badly we wanted it.”(on the difference once Falls fouled out)
    “He should have been on (Jerrick) Harding down the stretch, and he wasn’t, and obviously Harding brought them home. That’s unfortunate, because Timmy was doing a good job on Harding early, and it’s unfortunate we didn’t get to see him finish it off.”(on not being able to close it out in the second half)
    “We made mistakes. We fouled three-point shooters, we took shots we didn’t need to take. We had the chance to really take momentum and go up double figures, and we didn’t. I told them it was going to be a dogfight, and I don’t think enough people showed up.”

    Looking Ahead
    Montana will have a split week next week, traveling to Portland State on Thursday, before returning home to host Montana State in the first installment of the Brawl of the Wild (Saturday).

    The Grizzlies are still alone in first place (7-2), a full game up on Eastern Washington and Northern Colorado (5-2).