Montana guard Mike Oguine missed a potential game-tying free throw in the closing seconds and the Griz lost to the Washington Huskies, 66-63, on Friday in Seattle.
Montana led by three points early in the second half, trailed by as many as nine and re-took the lead at 62-61 with 4:16 to play. The Griz surrendered the lead on a Jaylen Nowell jumper with 3:05 to play and had an Oguine basket to take the lead waved off because of an offensive foul with 1:13 left.
Oguine made a free throw to get the Griz within 64-63 with 5.2 seconds left, but he missed the second. Washington made two free throws to seal the game, as Montana missed its last five field goals to close the game.
Montana guard Ahmaad Rorie scored a game-high 19 points. Nowell led Washington with 13.
The Griz held Washington, which came in averaging 81.8 points per game, to a season-low 66 points.
They scored 24 points off of 18 turnovers and outrebounded Washington 41-27, including 20-6 on the offensive glass to stay in the game. They turned the ball over 20 times themselves, which led to 20 Washington points.
They didn’t attempt a free throw until there was 11:39 to play and finished 4 of 6. The Huskies were 17 of 21 at the charity stripe.
The Griz held a brief 2-0 lead and were tied at 6-6 before they gave up a 10-0 run. They missed 10 straight field-goal attempts as they struggled with the zone. Mike Oguine ended the scoreless drought of 5:39 with a dunk on an inbound pass.
Montana trailed as many as 12 points, 20-8. Down 26-17, the Griz played more patiently and retook the lead at 27-26 as part of a 12-0 run that included two 3-pointers from Bobby Moorehead and a pair of Jamar Akoh layups. They turned the ball over 11 times in the first half but just once in the final 5:11 of the half.
Moorehead made his third 3-pointer to give the Griz a 32-31 lead before Jaylen Nowell hit a jumper in the final second to put Montana down 33-32 at the half. They scored 18 points off of 12 turnovers to stay in the game despite shooting just 37.8 percent, having nine shots blocked and not getting to the free-throw line.
The Griz opened the second half on a 4-0 run and last led at 36-33 before Washington went on a 9-0 run. They trailed 51-42, and Sayeed Pridgett scored a put-back and a basket in transition to get the Griz within 54-52 with 8:41 to play.
Akoh and Rorie made back-to-back layups to pull them within 61-60 with 5:03 to play. Akoh followed a Rorie miss to give Montana a 62-61 lead, its last lead of the game.
Check out 406mtsports.com for a full recap with reaction from Griz head coach Travis DeCuire.