Utah Valley St. 60, Montana St. 53
BOZEMAN, Mont. (AP)—Ryan Toolson scored 14 points, including all nine of his free throws, to lead Utah Valley State to a 60-53 victory over Montana State Saturday night, a day after a former Bobcat player was killed in a car accident.
Nick Dissly, playing with a wristband to honor the memory of former teammate Al Beye, scored a career-high 29 points. Dissly made 10-of-16 shots from the field, including 5-of-9 from 3-point range.
Dissly was at a loss to explain his performance.
“I just tried to play hard,” he said.
It was the second meeting of the two teams this season. The Wolverines (6-4) pounded the Bobcats 69-37 in their season opener in Orem, Utah.
Montana State (2-9) committed 20 turnovers in losing its sixth consecutive game.
A layup by Toolson started a 12-0 run that put the Wolverines up by 11 with 9:12 remaining in the half. The Bobcats battled back to tie the score at 36 with 12:45 remaining, and got within three twice in the late-going.
A pair of free throws by Dissly with 7:51 remaining pulled the Bobcats to 43-40, but Matt Peterson hit a 3-pointer to start an 8-1 run that gave UVSC control.
“I thought our guys played hard and played focused,” said MSU coach Brad Huse. “This day definitely had a different feel to it. The game was going to happen regardless, and I don’t think the result had anything to do with (Beye’s death). I thought our guys really responded to a difficult situation.”
Peterson finished with 10 points for the Wolverines, who made 21-of-27 free throws to just 11-of-18 for the Bobcats.
MSU outrebounded Utah Valley State 39-29, led by Ted Morris with 11 rebounds. Casey Durham had seven assists.
Beye, 24, was killed and his brother injured in a car crash Friday night on a gravel road just south of Dillon. The 6-foot-11 Beye, of Dakar, Senegal, was the Big Sky Conference’s defensive co-MVP last season after posting a school single-season record 62 blocked shots.