Durham scores 18 points in Montana State’s 70-67 win

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GREELEY, COLO. (AP)—Casey Durham scored 18 points and Branden Johnson added 15 as Montana State defeated Northern Colorado for the ninth straight time, winning 70-67 Thursday night.

Durham was 4-for-6 on 3-pointers while Johnson had three treys for Montana State (11-8, 3-3 Big Sky). The Bobcats won with little contribution from Big Sky Conference leading scorer Carlos Taylor, who had only six points. He has averaged 19 points a game.

Thanasi Panagiotakopoulos led Northern Colorado (8-11, 2-4) with 14 points. Robert Palacios had 11 points and 12 rebounds for the Bears, who last defeated Montana State in 1956. It was the Bears’ third consecutive loss.

Montana State outscored the Bears 20-9 to start the second half. Johnson connected on his third 3-pointer of the second half to put the Bobcats ahead 50-38 with 12:14 left. Northern Colorado pulled to within 55-51 with 7:12 remaining after Will Figures’ jumper and a rebound basket.

Taylor’s second basket of the second half with 4:08 to play gave Montana State some breathing room at 64-56.

Panagiotakopoulos converted a 3-point play and then a layup with 9.4 seconds left, pulling the Bears to within 68-67. But Johnson sealed the win with two free throws.

Panagiotakopoulos missed a 3-point attempt with two seconds left.

The game was tied at 27 at halftime when Jabril Banks beat the buzzer with a layup for Northern Colorado. It came 28 seconds after Durham’s 3-pointer gave the Bobcats a two-point lead.

The Bears led 14-4 early after 3-pointers by Neal Kingman and Mason, but then went nine minutes without scoring. While the Bears struggled, Montana State went on a 15-0 run, getting seven points from Mecklen Davis and taking a 19-14 lead.

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Top Performers

 Top Performers
 Montana St.
C. Durham C. Durham
6-8,  18 Pts
3 Rebs, 5 Assists
 Northern Colorado
R. Palacios R. Palacios
5-8,  11 Pts
12 Rebs, 2 Assists

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