Anthony Johnson scored 20 points and had six assists to lead Montana to a 60-52 win over Eastern Washington on Saturday night in Missoula.
Jordan Hasquet added 12 points and a team-high 10 rebounds, while Jack McGillis finished with 11 points for the Grizzlies, who won their fourth straight.
Montana started the game quickly, taking a 17-4 lead with 11:57 left in the first half after Johnson and Hasquet hit back-to-back 3-pointers.
EWU shot 30 percent from the field before the break and missed all six of their 3-point attempts. They kept the game close with nine offensive rebounds and eight second-chance points.
The Grizzlies went without scoring for nearly 9 minutes to open the second half, and Eastern Washington’s Andy Genao tied the game at 35 with a 3-pointer with 9:50 remaining.
Johnson gave the momentum back to the Grizzlies, hitting a layup and a three-point play on consecutive possessions to make it 45-38 with 6:41 to play.
“(Early in that stretch) I noticed we had a noticeable drop in our intensity level on the defensive end,” EWU coach Kirk Earlywine said.
Genao led the Eagles with 14 points and 12 rebounds. Adris DeLeon came off the bench to add 12 points, and Brandon Moore finished with 10.
Benny Valentine, who entered the night as the conference’s leading scorer at 16.8 points per game, was held to eight points on 4-for-15 shooting. He missed all six of his 3-point attempts.
“Obviously, we’re in a tough stretch right now,” Earlywine said. “But it’s not as tough as it was two weeks ago. We’re playing better now.”