Montana Downs Santa Clara 67-56

Montana Downs Santa Clara 67-56

Dec. 22, 2005

Final Stats

SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) - Matt Martin scored 16 points to help Montana win its 10th straight, a 67-56 victory over Santa Clara on Thursday night.

Kevin Criswell added 14 points as the Grizzlies (10-1) extended their winning streak despite a season-low in points. Andrew Strait had 13. The Grizzlies have won 16 of their last 17 regular-season games.

Travis Niesen scored 18 points to lead Santa Clara (5-5), which lost at home for the first time. Mitch Henke added 14 points and Brody Angley had 13.

Former NBA player Larry Krystkowiak returned to his alma mater to coach last year, leading the Grizzlies to the Big Sky Conference tournament title and a berth in the NCAA tournament. Krystkowiak, Montana's all-time leading scorer and rebounder, played for Mike Montgomery, who currently coaches the Golden State Warriors.

With three returning starters, the Grizzlies - picked to finish second behind Montana State this year - won't surprise anyone this season but that hasn't stopped them from registering at least one signature victory over Stanford.

Martin hit a pair of 3-pointers to snap a 47-all tie with 11:16 remaining to play. Montana maintained its tenuous lead the rest of the way.

The Broncos were able to stay within striking distance because of three key offensive rebounds and Henke's steal which led to a slam dunk with just under eight minutes to play.

Santa Clara's 23-18 lead with 8:15 remaining was the biggest advantage of the first half for either team.

Montana outscored the Broncos 14-7 the rest of the way to take a 32-30 lead into halftime.

The game also featured a reunion of three freshmen players - Austin Swift and Eric Van Vliet for Montana and Cliff Sammet for Santa Clara - from nearby Santa Cruz High, which won the California state Division III title under Pete Newell Jr. in March.