Shooter. Waylon Jennings named a his only child just that (actually it's a nickname but has morphed into the only name he answers to). Said son didn't matriculate at Montana State nor has he ever set foot in Bozeman to the best of our knowledge but he missed his match if he ever wanted to play college hoops. That's because the Bobcats fire away with abandon, as if the ball is afire in their hands, connecting at times, missing others.
Montana State is also a team scoring better in the first half than the second this season but the Bobcats reversed that tonight. They started out whatever the opposite of en fuego is, as if at home at an outside court in the snow but made it a "Tale of Two Cities" contest with much sharper shooting in period two.
In the end, Coach Don Huse's squad came close but fell short to San Jose State University 77-73.
For SJSU, Adrian Oliver earned a double-double with 35 points and 10 boards as did Wil Carter with 13 and 10.
Milpitas High grad Erik Rush paced the visitors with 20 points.
Montana State kept closing the point differential after the break. It was 53-41, then 54-44 with 12:07 remaining.
At the 7:13 mark, the score was 60-53.
With 5:15 showing, the lead was five, 60-55.
A Rush dunk made it 69-67.
Then, Oliver sank both ends of a one and one to make it 71-67.
After getting the ball back, Rush was called for a charge on a fingeroll layup.
Justin Graham eventually put in a bankshot but Rod Singleton followed with a basket of his own.
Later, Calvin Douglas connected on one of two free throws to make it 74-69.
Rush came down and scored on another dunk to reduce the margin to three.
Keith Shanburger then also sank one of a pair at the charity stripe, Montana State followed with an air ball and the outcome was essentially set.
At the half, the Spartans led 46-25, with Oliver totaling 20 points and five rebounds. SJSU shot 51% to MSU's 33% with the Bobcats going 3-19 in attempts at one point. The half also featured a five point play when Oliver buried a trey while Carter was being fouled and the junior forward sank a pair of free throws to add five digits to the lead all at once.