The Montana Grizzlies 13 game win streak came to an end Thursday night when they fell to Eastern Washington 74-65 on the road, also ending Montana’s seven game road win streak.
The two teams went back and forth early on, swapping the lead until 5:42 left in the first period when Eastern Washington broke 25 all score and kept the lead for the remainder of the game. The Griz trailed by three at the end of the first half, but came out in the second half and turned the ball over four times on its first five possessions.
Montana came within a single possession when Sayeed Pridgett secured a loose ball in Eagle territory and drove it the length of the court, nearly completing a highlight-reel dunk. Instead, he was fouled, and hit both free throws to cut the score to 60-57 with 4:27 to play. Eastern Washington scored 11 of the next 15 points to take a double-digit lead, Montana’s largest deficit of conference play.
The Grizzlies allowed the Eagles to shoot 56% from the floor, a season high for any Montana opponent, and knock down seven three-pointers. Montana went 6 for 22 from long range, missing their first nine attempts of the second half. Montana struggled for the majority of the game to get the ball inside, Jamar Akoh was held to seven points, and with 14 minutes to play, Montana had taken more three-point attempts than two-pointers, and UM only had seven offensive rebounds, nearly half of their season average.
With just one loss in conference play Montana has a one and half game lead over second-place Weber State with four games to play. The Grizzlies have a steep challenge this weekend facing Idaho on Saturday night. The Vandals are 10-3 and were the preseason favorites to win the league.