MSUB Men Top Rocky, Women Fall to UGF - | News, Weather & Sports in Billings, Montana

MSUB Men Top Rocky, Women Fall to UGF

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BILLINGS, Mont. – Marc Matthews pushed his career points total to 998 with a game-high 29 on Saturday night, and Preston Beverly added 25 points and a career-best 19 rebounds as the Montana State University Billings men’s basketball team fended off Rocky Mountain College 95-85 at Alterowitz Gym.

The Yellowjackets (6-4) avenged a 78-73 loss to the Bears (4-5) earlier this season on Nov. 15, as the teams split the season series with each winning at home. Matthews was one point off of his career-high of 30, and tied his personal best of seven 3-pointers in the game.

“It feels good going into break with this win, and for the guys to come out and play the way they did was impressive,” said MSUB head coach Jamie Stevens. “Marc was unbelievable, and he was in the zone. He shot the ball the way we know he can shoot, and he and Beverly really carried us.”

Matthews hinted he was headed for a big night, scoring the first eight points of the game for MSUB and never looking back. The senior tied his career-high with 10 made field goals in the game, and added five rebounds, two assists, two steals, and a block in 36 minutes. “I was getting a lot of open looks, and when we started getting into transition it led to more open threes,” said Matthews who is two points shy of becoming the 22nd player in MSUB history to reach 1,000 in his career. “We just like to win at home, especially when we have a nice turnout like we did tonight.”

After making just five total 3-pointers in the loss to the Bears last month, the ‘Jackets made six in each half and finished 12-for-25 on the game from long distance (48.0 percent). Sven Jeuschede reached his career high in scoring by halftime, starting the game 4-for-4 from long distance and finishing with 15 points in 34 minutes.

MSUB has now won five of its last six games, and will head into the holiday break after posting its highest point total of the season.

Beverly had his ninth-career double-double and second of the season in hand by halftime, before flying past his previous career best of 14 rebounds. He was one point away from his career high of 26, as he converted 9 of 20 shots from the floor and 7 of 8 foul shots and added four assists in 36 minutes.

For the Bears, who played the game as an exhibition on their schedule, Zach Hinton led the way with 25 points and Riley Bradshaw chipped in 19 with a game-best seven assists. Derek Graves (11 points) and Taylor Longo (10 points) were also in double figures for the visiting team.

After receiving a game-high 23 points from Chad Kananen in the win over the ‘Jackets last month, the junior guard for Rocky scored just two on Saturday.

Rocky led 19-18 midway through the first half, but a pair of free throws followed by a layup from Beverly wound up giving MSUB the lead for good. MSUB forced momentum into its locker room at the break, as Kendall Denham streaked the length of the court and finished a left-handed, contested layup just before the buzzer to make the score 44-38.

The ‘Jackets parlayed that into a lead that grew to as much as 16 with 5:50 left to play, and the Bears couldn’t get within eight points the rest of the game.

MSUB controlled the boards, out-rebounding the Bears 41-29, while Rocky protected the ball well with just five turnovers and capitalized on 14 MSUB giveaways for 19 points off of turnovers. MSUB shot a season-best 53.1 percent from the field overall (34-for-64), and was nearly perfect from the foul line at 15-for-16. The Bears shot 46.6 percent from the field (34-for-73), 41.2 percent from 3-point range (7-for-17), and struggled from the line making just 10 of 19 free throws (52.6 percent).

Denham finished with a team-high five assists, and also scored eight points. Kamal Tall was effective with six points and six rebounds, and Christian Evans finished with nine points in 22 minutes.