Montana State squeaks past rival Montana in offensive shootout

MISSOULA — Behind the efforts of Darius Brown II and RaeQuan Battle’s double-figure performances that combined for more than half of Montana State’s points, the Bobcats squeaked past rival Montana with a three-point victory, 67-64.

It was MSU’s first win in Missoula since 2010.

Brown led Montana State (13-8, 6-2 Big Sky) with 23 points on 9-of-13 shooting, while Battle followed with 18 points on 7-of-12 from the field.

“A lot of resilience,” Brown stated. “It was tough, especially in this environment. That’s what our non-conference schedule is for. We played in a lot of tough environments like GCU, Arizona. A lot of tough environments to prepare us for a game like this. We just stuck together as a team and just made sure we rode it out together and I’m really proud of this team.”

DARIUS. BROWN.

WE ARE TIED. pic.twitter.com/Fs73WEL9Ma — Montana State Men’s Basketball (@MSUBobcatsMBB) January 22, 2023

The Bobcats led 35-29 at halftime thanks to some hot shooting, but down the stretch is where things got interesting.

After Josh Bannan went 1 for 2 at the line to tie it, Brandon Whitney gave UM its first lead of the game at 59-57 after a pair of free throws with just over two minutes to play.

But the biggest bucket for Montana came with 1:34 to go as Dischon buried a 3-pointer that sent Dahlberg into a frenzy and gave the Grizzlies a 62-59 lead.

“For me, I was told a lot about it when I got here and as the game was coming up I heard more about it,” Thomas said. It wa