Friday, December 17, 2010

Yellowjackets Upend Defending National Champs, 52-46

PHOENIX – Behind 17 points and seven rebounds from senior DeAndre Chambers, the Montana State Billings men’s basketball team pulled off a 52-46 upset of the defending national champion and No.15 ranked Broncos of Cal Poly Pomona Friday evening at Antelope Gymnasium in the first game of the Grand Canyon Holiday Tournament.

The Yellowjackets improved to 2-6 on the season and in the process, snapped a five game losing streak that dated back to Nov. 24. The Broncos dropped to 2-3 with the loss.

“It was a good game for us tonight,” said head coach George Pfeifer. “We did a lot better job of taking care of the ball tonight and we were able to find a way to close out the game. Our defensive effort was better tonight and we were able to force them to take some tough shots. Now we have a quick turnaround before tomorrow night’s game and we have to ride the momentum of this great win tonight.”

The game started out sloppy on both sides as neither team was able to break the seal on the basket. The Broncos maintained a small lead throughout much of the first half as the Jackets could only tie the game, but a Chambers jumper put them ahead for the first time at the 8:39 mark, 13-12.

The half continued to go back and forth until Tyler Barnes drove the lane and made a lay-up off a Leon Sutton pass with just three seconds to go to give the Jackets a 23-22 edge going into the locker room. The bucket was the last lead change of the game as MSUB never trailed again.

MSUB came out of the half and had back-to-back jumpers by Jaxon Myaer and Robert Mayes to build a five point lead. The Broncos cut the lead back to one, 41-40, with just over seven minutes remaining, but a three-pointer by Myaer with 6:18 to go pushed the lead back to four.

A Dwayne Fells jumper cut the lead back to two for the Broncos, but that was as close as they would get for the remainder of the game. The Yellowjackets went 8-for-10 down the stretch from the line to close out the game and build the final margin of six after a meaningless lay-in by the Broncos at the end.

Chambers was 5-of-13 from the field and a perfect 6-for-6 from the stripe, but also added a game-high five steals. Barnes was also in double figures, scoring 12 points on 5-of-9 shooting and grabbed five boards. Barnes had a team-high eight rebounds to compliment his five points.

The Jackets shot just 35.3 percent from the field and only cashed in on three of their 18 attempts from three point land. MSUB was able to right the ship from the line tonight, shooting 81.3 percent (13-16) from the charity stripe.

The Yellowjackets created 13 points off of 15 Bronco turnovers and outscored Pomona in the paint (24-22) and off the bench (14-5).

CPP was led by a game-high 18 points from Fells, shooting 7-of-11 from the field and 4-of-5 from the line. He pulled down seven boards, while Matt Rosser had a team-high eight boards and added in seven points.

The Broncos shot just 32.1 percent (18-56) and were a dismal 3-of-23 (13.0%) from beyond the arc. The Broncos also struggled from the line, knocking down just seven of their 15 chances. They did win the rebounding battle 42-37 and managed to gather 17 second chance points.

The Yellowjackets will now take on tournament host Grand Canyon University tomorrow night at 6 p.m. The Antelopes are playing GNAC foe Simon Fraser in the second game of the tournament. Live stats will be available for both the game at: http://www.sidearmstats.com/gcu/mbball/index.htm, while a webstream will be available for Saturday’s game via the Grand Canyon website at: http://www.b2livetv.com/partner_members.asp?id=78.

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