The Montana Grizzlies closed the first half on a 13-4 run to take a 10-point lead and the Sacramento State Hornets never got closer than seven points in the second half of an 82-70 Grizzlies victory at Dahlberg Arena in Missoula, Mont., Saturday night.
The Hornets (4-7, 0-2 Big Sky Conference) got out to an early 14-8 lead on a Mikh McKinney jumper with 12:43 left in the first half, but Montana (6-5, 1-1) scored the next seven points to take a 15-14 lead.
With Montana up 24-23 after a three-point play by McKinney with 3:37 to go in the first half, Montana closed the half with a 13-4 spurt, capped by Jordan Gregory’s 3-pointer with six seconds left in the half to go up 37-27.
Sacramento State got as close as 50-43 on Alex Tiffin’s free throw with 11:52 to go before the Grizzlies pulled away to secure the win, going up 76-58 on Chris Kemp’s dunk with 2:28 left.
Gregory led the Grizzlies with 20 points. Keron DeShields scored 17 points, Kareem Jamar added 14 points and six assists and Kemp finished with 10 points, seven rebounds and three steals.
Zach Mills scored 14 points for the Hornets. McKinney finished with 11 points and Jordan Salley had 10 points and six rebounds. Dylan Garrity handed out four assists.
Sacramento State was 26-for-52 (50 percent) overall, 7-for-23 (30.4 percent) from 3-point range and 11-for-18 (61.1 percent) from the free-throw line.
Montana was 29-for-50 (58 percent), 5-for-16 (31.3 percent) and 19-for-23 (82.6 percent).
The Hornets out-rebounded the Grizzlies 28-25 and had 13 turnovers to nine for Montana.
Sacramento State will remain on the road to start conference play as they visit Northern Arizona Thursday evening. Tipoff from Flagstaff, Ariz., is set for 5:30 p.m. Pacific.