Montana Grizzlies reach crossroads as offense disappears in blowout loss at Sacramento State

Montana couldn’t grab a defensive rebound to save its life early in the second half Thursday at Sacramento State.

Trailing 44-42, the Griz allowed the Hornets to snag three offensive boards in a single possession that lasted exactly one minute. The last of those three led to a Zach Chappell 3-pointer, the first of four consecutive triples for the Hornets.

Then, UM could score a basket to save its life as it allowed a 14-0 run while undergoing its second scoring drought of five-plus minutes. The Griz struggled to find the bottom of the net as they were outscored 23-6 over the final 16:35 while mustering a season-low 48 points.

The result was a 67-48 loss and their first three-game losing streak as they dropped to 3-6 in Big Sky games and remained in seventh in the conference standings. They’re at the midpoint of league play heading to Portland State 8 p.m. MT Saturday, a game which could determine the future path of their season.

The Griz were outrebounded 35-19 and had just 12 defensive rebounds while allowing the Hornets to grab 13 offensive boards, tied for the most UM has given up this season. Sacramento State converted those offensive rebounds into a 22-2 edge in second-chance points while shooting 51.9% (27 of 52) and outscoring the Griz 38-20 in the paint.

Part of the reason for the Hornets feasting down low was the absence of Montana 6-foot-9 senior forward Mack Anderson, who sat on the bench with a boot on his left foot. The Griz struggled to slow Sacramento Stat