Rocky Men and Women, MSUB Men Fall at Home - | News, Weather & Sports in Billings, Montana

Rocky Men and Women, MSUB Men Fall at Home

Posted: Updated:

BILLINGS, Mont. – Drew Martin led five double-figure scorers from Concordia University with 19 points on Saturday night, as the visiting Cavaliers defeated host Montana State University Billings 92-82 in the Yellowjackets’ Great Northwest Athletic Conference men’s basketball opener at Alterowitz Gym.

The Cavaliers (3-4, 1-1 GNAC) shot a stellar 52.5 percent from the field overall (32-for-61) and made 7 of 17 3-pointers (41.2 percent). The ‘Jackets weren’t far behind, shooting 48.5 percent from the floor (33-for-68), but MSUB made just 8 of 15 foul shots while Concordia connected on 18 of 26. The ‘Cavs also held a 38-32 edge in rebounding, 11 of which were grabbed by Martin as he completed a double-double.

“We didn’t have an edge tonight, and they beat us in just about every statistical category in the box score,” said MSUB head coach Jamie Stevens. “We lacked energy defensively and in rebounding, and whatever success we had on the road last week didn’t carry over to tonight. We are excited about the chance to play again on Monday and get better.”

MSUB (4-4, 0-1 GNAC) was led by senior Marc Matthews, who scored 16 points and just missed a double-double with nine rebounds. Christian Evans led MSUB in scoring with 18 points, while Preston Beverly had 14 and Cinco Durr chipped in 13.

The game stayed even through the opening 20 minutes, as both teams came out of the gate on fire and shot above 50 percent. Six treys for the ‘Jackets in the first half helped the team keep pace, but MSUB made just two more in the second half.

In a game that featured 13 lead changes, MSUB’s largest lead of six points came just two minutes into the game. Durr picked the Cavaliers’ pocket with a steal midway through the first half, generating a 2-on-1 fast-break scoring chance. The freshman lobbed a pass towards the hoop, and Beverly slammed it home with an energizing dunk.

Matthews followed by hitting back-to-back threes with eight minutes left to give the ‘Jackets a solid 30-25 lead. The ‘Cavs stayed close however, as a three and a jumper in succession from Latrell Wilson kept the visiting team within two points as halftime drew near.

Matthews converted a layup and grabbed a board in the final minute, keeping the lead in MSUB’s hands for the time being.

Durr heated up early on in the second, hitting back-to-back 15-footers that pulled the score even at 55-55 with 14:11 to go. An ensuing layup by Evans gave the ‘Jackets a 57-55 lead, but it was the last time MSUB held the advantage.

A 9-2 run by Concordia shifted momentum, and the ‘Jackets could not find a way back into the game. A three by Wilson and jumper by Martin on back-to-back possessions pushed the score to 80-72, and sent the ‘Cavs to their bench cheering as Stevens called a timeout. A layup by Evans with 3:29 to go cut the deficit to three, but CU finished strong by converting 10 of 14 foul shots the rest of the way.

Wilson finished with 15 points for the ‘Cavs, while Christopher Edward made 7 of 13 shots from the floor and turned in 18 points and eight rebounds. Bryan Michaels (13 points) and Jarrett Gray (11 points) were also in double figures for CU. Gray had a game-best four blocks, and Davis Nuaimi led Concordia with four assists.

Kendall Denham led MSUB with five assists in the game, and also picked up four rebounds. Beverly and Evans had six boards apiece, and Beverly and Durr each had a pair of steals.