Montana 73, Nevada 68
MISSOULA, Mont. (AP) _ A timeout called by the Nevada bench nullifed a 3-point basket that would have tied the game with 46 seconds left, and Montana went on to defeat the Wolf Pack 73-68 Saturday night in the championship game of the Big Sky Conference tournament.
Roger Fasting hit 21 points and tournament MVP Delvon Anderson added 20 as Montana (27-3), the regular-season league champion, earned its second straight trip to the NCAA tournament.
Nevada coach Len Stevens called the timeout that disallowed the 3-pointer by sophomore Jerry Hogan that would have tied the game at 68.
After the timeout, Kevin Soares missed a 3-pointer, Montana’s Nate Atchison was fouled after grabbing the rebound, and he made both free throws to give the Grizzlies a 70-65 lead.
Soares then hit a 3-pointer with 27 seconds left to pull Nevada (19-10) to within two. But Wolf Pack was forced to foul, and Montana made three of six free throw attempts in the final 26 seconds.
Anderson’s early rebounding and late scoring sparked the Grizzlies, while Fasting’s clutch baskets pulled Montana back from as much as a 10-point deficit.
The Wolf Pack led 45-35 with 16:54 to play, but Montana came back with a 12-2 run, including a rebound basket by Anderson with 12:34 left to tie the game at 47.
Although there was one more tie, Montana never trailed again.
Montana senior Daren Engellant blocked four shots to set an all-time Big Sky Conference record with 209, breaking the record of 207 held by Idaho State’s Steve Hayes.
Nevada’s Bryan Thomasson, who led the league in 3-pointers during the regular season, hit just two of 11 attempts from long-range in the title game.
Atchison added 10 points for Montana. Nevada was led by Soares with 13 points, Thomasson and Gary Scott 12 each, Eric Morris 11 and Ric Herrin 10 before fouling out.
Montana outrebounded Nevada 49-41, with Anderson grabbing 16 and Engellant 13.