Story and photos by Mike Coil Explorebigsky.com Sports Writer
BOZEMAN – Both the Cats and Lady Cats suffered heartbreak at the hands of the University of Montana Grizzlies on March 2. The Lady Cats lost 58-55, while the men went down 71-68.
In the afternoon game, the Lady Cats (9-8, 15-11) started slow and seemed out of synch as the Grizzlies (15-3, 21-6) out-shot and out-hustled MSU. Starting center Rachel Semansky was on the bench early with two fouls. Shooting just 27 percent in the first half, the Lady Cats trailed 30-22 at halftime. With 13:46 left, the Griz led 45-33 when Semansky, appearing in her penultimate home game, returned and rallied her teammates to a 14-1 run. At the 5:33 mark, Rechel Carter scored to give the Lady Cats their first lead since the opening seconds, but the Grizzlies scored 6 straight and MSU never recovered. Durham led the Lady Cats with 12 points while Semansky added 10.
The men suffered a similar fate. Trailing the entire game to the league-leading Grizzlies (16-1, 20-6), the Bobcats (8-10, 11-16) made a late surge to cut the score to 7-66 with 1:44 remaining on the clock. On their next possession, the Cats scored on a two pointer by Antonio Bigelow to pull within three and then held on defense to get the ball back with 16 seconds remaining. Bigelow got the ball on a back door play and drove the baseline for a potential layup and foul but was called for the charge. Kareem Jamar for the Griz missed the front end of a one-and-one and Christian Moon snagged the rebound and heaved up a desperation shot the length of the court that fell short. Flavien Davis led the Cats with a career high 30 points.
The Lady Cats have three games left in the season and must win one to make the playoffs. They are currently in sixth place in the Big Sky Conference. The men are in a three-way tie for fifth place and appear to have no chance of making the playoffs.