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Griz dump Argos 83-62 in Krysko's coaching debut

Griz dump Argos 83-62 in Krysko's coaching debut

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Larry Krystkowiak says he wouldn't last long as a player in today's game of college basketball.

Too bad, the Montana Grizzlies could have used their new coach on the floor during their mistake-filled 83-62 exhibition victory over the University of Great Falls on Thursday in chilly Dahlberg Arena.

It was a typical exhibition, other than it marked the Griz coaching debut of Krystkowiak, the former Grizzly great who returned to coach his alma mater last May. The teams combined for 60 fouls, 50 turnovers and 29 missed free throws. Of the 60 fouls, 16 were of the offensive variety and 12 of those were called in the first half alone.

With all the whistles blowing, it was hard for traffic to get into much of a flow in either direction.

"It was hard," Krystkowiak said. "A new point of emphasis, I guess, is the physicality of the game. I'm not sure I could play right now, without sitting on the bench on awful lot. The game changed. We've got to adapt and find a way to succeed under the new rules."

The scrappy Argos (2-5) trailed just 31-28 at halftime after holding the Griz without a field goal for nearly eight minutes. They outscored the Griz 16-1 during that stretch and led by as much as 21-18 on a 3-pointer from Aron Cline with 5:16 to play before the half.

"We didn't do much in the last 13 minutes of the first half," said Montana junior Kevin Criswell, who led the Griz with 17 points. "We didn't play with intensity like we did the first seven minutes."

That made for an uncomfortable intermission.

"(Krystkowiak) was pretty angry with the way we finished the half," Criswell said. "We showed no heart, we showed no intensity."

The Griz found their stroke in the second half, hitting 18-of-26 (69.2 percent) from the floor. A 21-3 burst put the Griz on top 63-39 with 10:02 to play.

Criswell and freshman point guard Matt Martin had a pair of 3-pointers during the run and junior college transfer Virgil Matthews had another.

Krystkowiak said he missed the fireworks.

"I spent an awful lot of time watching our defense, or lack of defense," Krystkowiak said. "I looked up and saw we were up six at one point, then I looked up and we were up 20. Honestly, I wasn't watching a lot how we scored those points."

Kamarr Davis, the team's lone senior, backed up Criswell with 14 points on 6-of-9 shooting. Sophomore point guard Brian Lynch added nine, as did freshman Andrew Strait of Yakima, Wash. The only player on the roster who didn't see action was freshman Jordan Hasquet of Missoula, leaving open the possibility that he will sit out this season as a redshirt.

Todd Tomlinson led the NAIA Argos with 17 points while John Chapman added 11.

Lynch and Martin are locked in a competition to replace the departed Derrick Mansell at point guard. There wasn't much to separate them Thursday night. Lynch, who started, had nine points, four assists and just one turnover; Martin had eight points, three assists, four turnovers and three steals. The two combined to hit all five of their 3-pointers.

"It's a good competition, we try to make each other better," Lynch said. "We're going to get a lot of stuff thrown at us this year because we're both young. We'll just have to help each other through it."

The down side was that neither point guard was particularly effective at breaking Great Falls' full-court press.

"It's good for us," Krystkowiak said of the pressure. "You work on press-breaker and all that stuff in practice … but you just can't simulate that in practice. It was pretty eye-opening for us."

The Griz will face Montana-Western on Nov. 12 in their final exhibition game before opening at national power Gonzaga on Nov. 21.

"(Western) is 30 points better than this team," Criswell said. "We've got to come in and work hard in the next week."

Sports editor Bob Meseroll can be reached at 523-5265 or by e-mail at sportsdesk@missoulian.com.

UNIVERSITY OF GREAT FALLS (62)

Mins FG-A FT-A Reb PF A Pts

Owens 21 1-4 0-0 4 3 0 2

Dunwoody 13 0-4 0-2 1 2 0 0

Edwards 39 2-9 4-6 4 2 2 9

Cline 23 1-4 3-4 3 4 1 6

Suazo 9 0-2 0-0 1 5 0 0

Tomlinson 34 5-10 5-5 0 3 3 17

Geniesse 1 0-1 0-0 0 0 0 0

Polee 18 1-5 6-8 1 4 0 8

Podger 9 0-0 0-0 1 0 0 0

Chapman 19 3-13 3-4 12 5 1 11

Edwards 2 0-0 0-0 3 0 0 0

Fishbeyn 13 4-7 1-4 5 4 1 9

Totals 200 17-59 22-33 39 32 8 62

MONTANA (83)

Mins FG-A FT-A Reb PF A Pts

f-Davis 31 6-9 2-3 5 1 3 14

f-Dlouhy 21 2-5 0-0 5 1 3 5

c-Seyfert 10 2-2 0-4 3 3 0 4

g-Lynch 26 3-4 0-2 3 2 4 9

g-Criswell 25 5-11 3-4 0 2 2 17

Matthews 17 2-2 1-4 7 3 2 6

Thierry 2 0-0 1-2 1 1 0 1

Martin 15 2-3 2-5 0 4 3 8

Strait 15 3-5 3-4 4 1 0 9

Farr 11 0-1 0-0 1 4 1 0

Easley 19 3-5 2-2 6 4 2 8

McKay 5 1-1 0-2 0 2 0 2

Stapleton 3 0-1 0-0 1 0 1 0

Totals 200 29-49 14-32 40 28 21 83

Halftime score: Montana 31, Great Falls 28.

3-point goals: UGF 6-23 (Tomlinson 2-6, Chapman 2-6, Cline 1-2, Edwards 1-4, Dunwoody 0-2, Geniesse 0-1, Polee 0-2), UM 11-19 (Criswell 4-8, Lynch 3-3, Martin 2-2, Matthews 1-1, Dlouhy 1-3, Davis 0-1, Stapleton 0-1).

Turnovers: UGF 24 (Fishbeyn 6), UM 26 (Dlouhy 4, Martin 4).

Blocked shots: UGF 4 (Chapman 3), UM 8 (Seyfert 3).

Steals: UGF 13 (Polee 4), UM 10 (Martin 3).

Officials: Charlie Range, Mark Cook, Jeff Kent.

Attendance: NA.

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