While the Griz were busy losing to Montana Tech, the best story of the weekend was thrilling enough to receive hundreds of thousands of views nationally. The Cats were tied with UNC Greensboro with 30 seconds remaining — a team who has lost only three times on their homecourt in the last three seasons — until Saturday. With just three seconds left, UNC Greensboro junior Isaiah Miller laid in a beautiful left-handed layup to take a two-point lead and afterward, emphatically danced in excitement. Although the game was all but lost, MSU senior Harald Frey had a different narrative in mind. “Norwegian Curry” caught the inbounds pass, took three dribbles, and heaved a shot from beyond half-court. The shot kissed perfectly off the glass and in, giving Frey the SportsCenter Top Play of the weekend, Big Sky Ready Nutrition Player of the Week, and most importantly, a Cats victory 67-66.
Even with one of the most exciting finishes in MSU basketball history, the shot was only a small part of the story of the men’s basketball team this past weekend. They finished out the Spartan Invitational in Greensboro, NC a perfect 3-0, giving them the tournament victory. The Cats were underdogs in every game this weekend, but MSU’s stifling defense continually prevailed. The first game saw the Cats hold Appalachian State to just 34.4 percent shooting in a 59-56 victory. After the dramatic finish in the UNC Greensboro game, the Bobcats concluded the weekend with a convincing 52-39 win over Tennessee Tech. The Golden Eagles’ 25.9 percent field goal shooting is the first time an MSU opponent was held below 30 percent since 2014, and 39 points is the lowest opponent point total since 2000.
Coach Sprinkle, who showed his athleticism during the celebration of Frey’s game winner with a huge leap into the air, described the team’s defensive effort saying, “Our guys have bought into sitting in a stance and playing team defense. Every game you’ve got to be able to have help defense, sit in gaps, and they’re doing a great job.”
After the crazy weekend, the Cats had one day off before playing in front of the raucous Grand Canyon University crowd. The Bobcats put together a gritty performance, but ultimately fell short 69-56. MSU once again showed their defensive prowess by holding the Lopes to 37.3 percent shooting from the field. Some late miscues, a few tough calls, and some timely shots allowed the Lopes to finish the game on a late run to beat the Cats. Overall, it was a great effort by MSU.
The women’s team remains undefeated on the season by winning handily on Sunday, 93-34, against MSU Northern. The Cats took a 47-8 halftime lead, an effort that is impressive no matter who the competition. Coach Binford applauded the effort, saying, “We did a nice job sharing the basketball, and we did a much better job taking care of the ball at a much better rate, and that was one of our points of emphasis, so I'm really pleased with that.”
The women’s team hits the road this weekend, traveling to South Dakota State Thursday, Nov. 21, and Minnesota on Saturday, Nov. 23. Their next home game is against Gonzaga on Thursday, Dec. 5. The men’s team has the weekend off followed by a home game against Colorado Christian on Tuesday, Nov. 26 at 7 p.m. All home games are free for students with their CatCard, so come be a part of the action at Brick Breeden Fieldhouse.