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Big Sky Notebook

December 19, 2002 Conference Notes No Comments

Big Sky Notebook

by Nicholas Lozito

For whom the Bell tolls

Although David Bell grew up and played high school ball in the Bay Area, he headed off for the University of Montana following two years at Porterville (CA) Junior College. The Grizzly guard made a return to the bay last Monday, and sent a dagger through the Cardinal chest by knocking down a 3-pointer with 4.3 seconds remaining to upset No. 22-ranked Stanford, 70-68. The victory was the first for a Big Sky team over a ranked opponent.

Bell’s game winner capped off a 24-point performance, including 6-for-8 shooting from downtown. In the previous five games, Bell had connected on only 9-of-42 (21.4 percent) 3-pointers. Bell currently leads Montana (4-7) in scoring, averaging seventeen points per game.

Junior college transfer Steve Horne scored 14 points, grabbed six rebounds and dished out four assists over Stanford. Although he scored only four points against the Cardinal, Kevin Criswell has provided the Grizzlies with several sensational performances this year. The freshman guard poured in 28 points in a 81-69 win earlier in the week against Idaho. He also scored 29 in a Dec. 5 loss to Gonzaga.

After beating Stanford, Montana lost the next night to Pepperdine, 86-69, in the finals of the Stanford Invitational. Bell scored 21 in the loss, while junior point guard Derrick Mansell scored 10. Mansell, a JC transfer, is currently battling Sam Riddle, who started last season, for playing time at the point.

Making the Pac look whack

The Grizzlies were not the only Big Sky team to garner success this week against the Pac-10 Conference. Eastern Washington (6-2) beat Washington, 62-58, on Saturday and Northern Arizona (6-2) knocked off UCLA, 67-63, on Tuesday. Overall, the Big Sky went 3-2 this week over the West Coast version of Goliath. Eastern Washington point guard Alvin Snow led the Eagles with 24 points and seven steals against Washington, while swingman Chris Hester poured in ten. The Eagles have won six of their last seven games. Northern Arizona power forward Ryan McDade scored 22 points and pulled down twelve rebounds against the Bruins.

Oregon State beat Sacramento State (4-4), 62-49, on Saturday, and Portland State (2-5) on Tuesday, 53-50. Oregon State forward Brian Jackson hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer to knock off Portland State, while the Beavers overcame a 16-8 first half deficit against Sacramento State. Portland State saw the return of forward Seamus Boxley, who had missed the previous five games with an injured hand. In his first game back, an 84-66 win over Linfield College, Boxley scored 23 points and snatched eight boards. Even though he played all 40 minutes against the Beavers, the junior only scored three points, while grabbing five boards and dishing out five assists. Sac State center Tony Champion scored 16 points in the Hornets’ loss to the Oregon State.

Gazing the Sky

Weber State (7-2) recorded wins over Wisconsin-Green Bay, 78-72, and Portland, 78-71. Shooting guard Jermaine Boyette scored 28 against WGB and 29 against Portland. Boyette, as of Nov. 16, was the No. 18 scorer in the nation, averaging 21.9 points. Boyette has scored twenty points or more in six games this season.

Montana State beat up on Dickinson State on Dec. 10, but lost 65-56 to Baylor of the Big 12 on Saturday. Pete Conway currently leads the Bobcats (4-4) with 13.5 points. Idaho State recorded a perfect 2-0 week with a 79-70 win over Fullerton State, and an 84-72 win over Tennessee Tech. Scott Henry leads the Bengals (4-5) with thirteen points, while freshman point guard Marquise Poole averages 12.3 points and 4.6 assists.

Game of the Week

Eastern Washington will hit the road take on in-state rivals Gonzaga (6-3) on Sunday. The ‘Zags are just coming off a 69-60 win at North Carolina State. The Eagles have already won road games this season at Washington and San Diego State. Prediction: Gonzaga 67, Eastern Washington 64.

Player of the Week

Weber State guard Jermaine Boyette averaged 28.5 points and 3.5 assists as the Wildcats went 2-0 this week.


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