Jackets Battle Past Bears, Improve to 3-0 (12/8/05)
BILLINGS, MT – The offense kept rolling for
the Montana State-Billings basketball team Thursday, carrying the
Yellowjackets past cross-town rival Rocky Mountain College,
102-92. MSU Billings improved to 3-0 while Rocky dropped to 6-6.
The same teams will meet again Saturday night at 7:00 p.m. at
Rocky Mountain College.
The Yellowjackets improved their all-time
record against the Bears to 85-76. The teams hadn’t met since
December 6, 2000 when MSU Billings won at home. The Jackets have
now won five-straight against Rocky Mountain.
“They played good enough to win, and I know
that they feel they can come back Saturday and win a game,” said
Yellowjacket coach Craig Carse. “In our case we have to continue
to get better. If we could play a team like that—a team that
played that hard, shot the ball that well, did that many good
things—if we could play a team like that all preseason we could
really become a better team. We’ve got a lot to learn from this
and we just need to try to get better. Saturday should be a fun
After a see-saw start that saw five lead
changes and five ties in the first 10 minutes. MSU Billings pulled
away late in the first half for a double-digit lead. The
Yellowjackets led by as many as 16 before settling for a 57-47
halftime advantage. Carlin Hughes (So., Perth, Australia), Cameron Munoz (Sr., Chino, CA) and Moritz Wohlers (Sr., Wolffenbuttel, Germany) combined for 31
of the teams’ 57 first half points.
The Bears refused to go away in the second
half, withstanding an early MSU Billings push that gave the
Jackets a 14-point lead. Rocky battled back to cut the lead to
single digits by the 10:00 mark. With 6:20 to play, a Devin
Uskoski layup gave the Bears their first lead since 10:13 of the
There were six lead changes and nine ties in
the final six and a half minutes as neither team was able to shake
the other. It took back-to-back 3-pointers from Buddy Windy Boy (Sr., Lodge Grass, MT) and Munoz to give the
Yellowjackets some breathing room, a 96-87 lead with 1:59 to play.
Five-straight points by Elijah Swan pulled
the Bears to within 96-92 with 1:13 left. With Rocky forced to
foul in the final minute, the Jackets made the free throws that
counted most to hold on for the win. The Yellowjackets shot 70
percent from the free throw line in the game (19-27) but at one
point in the second half were shooting just 58 percent from the
Munoz led four Yellowjackets in double
figures with 27 points. He was 7-of-14 from the 3-point line and
4-of-6 from the charity stripe. Lucas Walker (So., Launceston, Australia) fought foul trouble
the whole game to finish with 23 points, 15 coming in the second
half. He was 8-of-11 from the free throw line.
Wohlers and Hughes finished with 16 and 15
points respectively. Hughes posted a double-double with 15
assists while Wohlers led the Jackets with nine rebounds. Windy
Boy added nine points on three 3-pointers. Cody
Samuelson (Jr., Broadus, MT) added a spark off the bench with eight points on
3-of-3 shooting from the field.
“I thought all the guys that got in played
really well,” added Carse. “We didn’t get Drew (Arnold)
in as much as I wanted because Moritz just played so outstanding. Jonathan Wiley’s defense was phenomenal. I was really
impressed with him tonight.”
The Bears were led by Swan’s 17 points.
Chris Nickolei finished with 16. Ryan Gomendi had a double-double
with 10 points and 10 rebounds. Uskoski also posted a
double-double with 10 points and a game-high 14 boards. The Bears
were 21-of-27 from the free throw line but just 5-of-22 from