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UND basketball: Sioux sour in second half

MISSOULA, Mont. -- UND's season opener against Montana started about an hour behind schedule. And the Grizzlies offense was a little late to start, too. But once it did, Montana cruised. Anthony Johnson scored 20 points to lead Montana to a 61-37...

MISSOULA, Mont. -- UND's season opener against Montana started about an hour behind schedule.

And the Grizzlies offense was a little late to start, too.

But once it did, Montana cruised. Anthony Johnson scored 20 points to lead Montana to a 61-37 win over the Sioux on Friday night in the first round of the Grizzly Tournament in the regular season opener for both teams.

Despite leading by just two at halftime, the Grizzlies led by as many as 24 in the second half. Montana outscored UND 37-15 in the second half.

"That last 12 or 13 minutes, our focus slipped," UND coach Brian Jones said in a radio interview after the game. "We also missed a ton of layups. That took the wind out of our sails."

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Montana shot 45.8 percent from the 3-point line (11-for-24) compared to UND's 33.3 percent (6-for-18).

The Grizzlies hit nine 3-pointers in the second half.

The first half was a different story. UND led by as much as 17-11 in the first half when Travis Mertens hit a jumper with 9:07 left in the half.

Montana responded and took a 24-19 lead with just over a minute to go in the first half.

But Pat Mitchell, who had 13 of his team-high 15 points in the first half, hit his fourth trey of the half with 23 seconds left to make it 24-22 at halftime.

"The pace in the first half was definitely in our favor," Jones said. "That's going to be crucial to us all year. In the first 28 minutes, we were sticking to the game plan."

Mitchell was the only Sioux scorer in double figures. Travis Bledsoe chipped in seven points for UND.

Boise State defeated Loyola Marymount 90-87 in the first game of the tournament. UND faces Loyola Marymount at 7 tonight in Missoula.

Related Topics: BASKETBALLUND SPORTS
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