FORT COLLINS, Colo. (AP) – Colton Iverson had 18 points and eight rebounds as Colorado State overcame a cold-shooting first half to defeat Montana 72-65 Friday night in the season opener for both teams.
Daniel Bejarano added 12 points and Greg Smith and Dorian Green 11 each for Colorado State, which gave first-year coach Larry Eustachy the 403rd win of his career.
The Rams shot just 6 of 24 from the floor in the first half but stayed in the game thanks to a decided rebounding advantage. They finished with a 44-21 edge in rebounding, including 19 offensive boards.
Keron DeShields led Montana with 17 points, and Colorado native Jordan Gregory had 10. The Grizzlies’ streak of 12 consecutive regular-season victories ended.
Montana played without returning leading scorer Will Cherry, who was sidelined with a foot injury.
After shooting 29 percent in the first half, Colorado State scored the first eight points of the second half to lead 35-34.
Gregory made a 3-pointer, putting the Grizzlies up 44-39, but Wes Eikmeier tied the game at 46-46 with a 3-pointer with 13:47 left. After Iverson tied the game at 50-50 with a layup and free throw, Eikmeier hit the next seven points for the Rams, who led 57-52.
DeShields hit a 3-pointer and free throw, and Kevin Henderson connected on a shot to get Montana within 68-65 with 2:05 remaining. Iverson sealed the game with two free throws and a steal.
Eikmeier finished with 10 points.
Montana shot 59 percent in the first half to lead 34-27 at intermission.
– By DALE BUBLITZ, Associated Press
(© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)