By DAVID HOY/Montana State News
A intense rivalry is renewed at Brick Breeden Fieldhouse in Bozeman Saturday. Cat/Griz matchups always entertain no matter the result; however Cat fans are in need of a weekend sweep to tilt the scales back to Bozeman’s favor. After a fall sweep of volleyball and well… we all know what happened with football, Cat basketball has a chance to recapture some pride.
The Bobcat Men’s team are coming off a devastating lose at home by 1 point against a streaking Idaho State in an overtime battle that resembled a tennis match, or a 10 round slugfest.
Down by 1 when the buzzer sounded to end overtime and the teams were ready to shake hands, the referees granted a small glimmer of hope by reviewing instant replay, ultimately deciding to put .1 second on the clock. With a tipped in bound lob by Tre Johnson, the Cats came an inch or two away from an unlikely victory just to fall 86-87.
Not to be lost in the frantic ending is how the Men’s team battled back from a 20-point deficit earlier in the game, a true testament of the group’s belief in themselves.
Across the border in Pocatello, the Bobcat Women’s team also were taken in to overtime. Tied at 65-65 at the end of regulation, Katie Bussey rose above the rest to gain the victory.
With an all-time MSU single game points record, Bussey’s 41 carried the Cats to victory 79-67 over the Big Sky leading Bengals (8-0 in conference play). The 41 points scored by Bussey ties the all time Big Sky Women’s single game scoring mark with two other girls, according to conferences website.
Now the Montana State Women’s team is looking to march up the standings in Big Sky play Saturday, Feb. 4th at 2:05PM against a Griz team on their tail.
However, the Montana State Men’s team have a tougher task at hand, coming up with their matchup at 7:05PM against an8-1 Griz team in conference play. The Griz Men’s team are on a four-game win streak, as well as having a week off.
No matter what happens this weekend, one thing is for sure. If the Cat’s can pull off a double header sweep of the Griz at the Brick, the basketball teams will have done more for Bozeman than they can understand.
Any Cat/Griz game is certainly entertaining under regular circumstances, however the home crowd is going to be more energetic than ever, 6,000-plus ready to help the Cats gain some momentum in this in-state rivalry.