Montana beats NAU (copy)

Montana Grizzlies guard Josh Vazquez (3) passes the ball during Thursday's game against Northern Arizona.

 

MISSOULA — Following an 11-point win over Northern Arizona on Thursday, the Montana men will look to continue a three-game win streak on Saturday morning at 11 a.m. when the face the Lumberjacks again.

The Grizzlies never trailed in Thursday's game, opening the contest on a 17-0 run and never letting the Lumberjacks get closer than 11 points the rest of the way. UM shot well in the first half of the game, though did have a nearly 10 minute period without a point that allowed NAU to get back into the game.

Montana tied a season-high with eight 3-pointers and assisted on 15 of 22 field goals. Sophomore Josh Vazquez had three of those 3-pointers for Montana on the way to a team-high 15 points. Kyle Owens and Michael Steadman each scored 13 for the Griz on combined 10 of 18 shooting.

Steadman also recorded his first 3-point make of the season.

Nik Mains, Northern Arizona's second leading scorer, did not play and the Lumberjacks have been dealing with a variety of other injuries. Cameron Shelton, who had a streak of eight-straight games with 20 points or more snapped, scored 19 points on 6 of 19 shooting.

"I thought we did a really good job helping on him from all the right places and there was a wall every time he tried to get in the paint," UM head coach Travis DeCuire said. "It was a team effort."

Northern Arizona shot just 20 of 54 from the field and 6 of 13 from behind the 3-point line. The Lumberjacks had just 19 points in the first half and were out-of-sorts offensively.

The Grizzlies out-rebounded NAU 34-30, but the Lumberjacks had five more offensive rebounds, an area where Montana has struggled at points this season.

"We needed to rebound the way we did in the first half," DeCuire said. "You know, we got to put a body on guys. We were helping a lot on (Cameron) Shelton and I think we had too many guys on him a couple times."

Montana is at .500 for the first time this season, sporting a 6-6 record. The Grizzlies are 3-6 against NCAA Division I competition and sit at 2-3 in the Big Sky Conference. 

Saturday's game will be the finale of a five-game homestand and the team will play on the road at Sacramento State next week.

Jordan Hansen covers a bunch of stuff for the Missoulian and 406 Sports. Shout at him on Twitter @jordyhansen or shoot him an email at Jordan.Hansen@406mtsports.com

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