On paper, this is a game that one could have expected SFU to win.
They were playing a team in Montana State that had only one more conference win than them, and had only beaten them by five earlier on in the season.
Even with a roster as devastated by injury as SFU, it was going to be close either way.
And that’s exactly how it played out. Montana State squeaked out a 77-75 win on the road in the West Gym, and in heartbreaking fashion. SFU is now 3-16 in GNAC conference play.
The first half was a back and forth affair, with SFU up by one at the break. Forward Tyrell Lewin had 12 points, including two steals while Hafeez Abdul had 16 for the Billings.
In the second, SFU started to pull away. A three-pointer by Othniel Spence gave them a double-digit lead, while Kedar Salam extended that to 13 with 6:26 left.
After that though, it all went downhill.
Montana State went on a 19-6 run, the climax being back to back Zack Rollins 3s to tie the game at 72.
But SFU still had a chance to win this late. With 13 seconds left, Michael Provenzano appears to make a game tying three, but it is after he is fouled. He goes to the line for two, but only makes one.
Fortunately, the ensuing rebound goes off a Montana State player. SFU has one last chance.
Provenzano inbounds it to Selam, who misses the three. Spence gets another chance for a game tying shot but it’s wide. Game over, SFU lose 77-75.
The villain in this one from an SFU perspective was Zack Rollins. His 27 second half points stole this game for the Billings. Kedar Salam continued his strong season for SFU, finishing with 21 points in 36 minutes of action. Michael Provenzano had seven assists playing 39 of a possible 40 minutes.
Next up for SFU is a home game against the University of Alaska on Thursday. They currently sit 7th in the GNAC with an 8-8 record, and beat SFU 74-57 the last time these two teams played. Game time is at 5:15 in the west gym.
Photo Credit: Paul Yates - Vancouver Sports Pictures www.vancouversportspictures.com
Written By: Nick Bondi