Leonard, defense lead UC Irvine to 60-51 win over Montana
IRVINE, Calif. (AP) — Evan Leonard made 5 of 7 from 3-point range and finished with 18 points and three steals to help UC Irvine beat Montana 60-51 on Saturday night.
Jamar Akoh’s tipin of Michael Oguine’s missed 3-point shot gave the Grizzlies a three-point lead with four minutes to go before Eyassu Worku answered with a 3-point play that sparked a 15-3 closing run by UCI (9-2). Oguine hit the first of two free throws to put Montana up by one but the Anteaters grabbed two offensive rebounds before Tommy Rutherford’s short jumper gave them the lead for good at 50-49 with 3:01 left.
Montana (5-3) went 1 for 7 from the field, and made just 1 of 4 free throws, with two turnovers from there.
Oguine led the Grizzlies with 16 points and Sayeed Pridgett scored 13.
Montana scored the first 10 points before the Anteaters used an 11-0 run for the first of 15 lead changes. The Grizzlies, who came in leading the nation in field-goal percentage (.532), shot a season-low 36 percent. It was their lowest-scoring game of the season — 21 points fewer than the previous low.