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Colbert stages memorable senior day in Cats win - KTVQ.com | Q2 | Continuous News Coverage | Billings, MT

Colbert stages memorable senior day in Cats win

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BOZEMAN -

It was a senior moment for the ages.

With Montana State scrapping to preserve an eight point lead and 110 seconds remaining and the shot clock dwindling to nothing, Marcus Colbert split a pair of North Dakota defenders, lunged toward the basket, and banked in a three-pointer. It was the final field goal the sensational senior guard will ever make in Worthington Arena, and it all but sealed Montana State’s 89-82 win on Saturday afternoon.

“That might have been a little lucky,” Colbert said with a wry smile, “but it went in. That’s what matters.”

Colbert and fellow senior Danny Robison stamped their final home game with a massive exclamation point, fighting off a Fighting Hawks team playing for a top four seed in the conference tournament and the accompanying bye. While Robison was limited to 13 minutes by early foul trouble and injury issues that have followed him all season – “I don’t know how I got 13 minutes out of him,” MSU coach Brian Fish said of Robison’s physical woes – he contributed five rebounds and a blocked shot.

Montana State set the tone early. After Carson Shanks made a free throw 30 seconds into the game to light the scoreboard for the first time on the afternoon, Colbert knifed into the paint for a layup. The Bobcats would never trail again. Zach Green made a layup, and Colbert’s three-pointer gave MSU a 7-3 lead. The Cats pushed that margin to six, but UND responded and an Adam McDermott trey cut it back to one.

The Cats had a an answer, and on Senior Day it was a sophomore. Green hit a three, then a layup, then Colbert’s layup and a basket by Tyler Hall gave the Bobcats a 24-14 lead with 8:40 to play. After North Dakota pulled to within four with 1:24 to play in the half Quinton Everett hit a three-pointer and Sam Neumann made a layup at the buzzer, and the Bobcats entered halftime with a 39-30 lead.

The wild finish to the first 20 minute period served as a prelude to the second. Hall hit a triple at the end of the shot clock on the first possession of the half to push MSU’s lead to 12, and Everett hit a floating leaner from the baseline as the clock expired on MSU’s next possession. The lead bounced between 11 and 15 for 10 minutes, but then the Fighting Hawks took flight.

Geno Crandall made a layup at 8:19 to pull UND within nine at 66-57. Drick Bernstine’s three-pointer with 52 seconds left trimmed the Bobcat lead to six, but the Cats found the resolve to get stops and the legs to make free throws. Colbert was three-for-four from the line in the last minute and Green and Everett each made one of two, and the Bobcats had their Senior Day win.

“I can’t thank these guys enough for what they’ve meant to this program,” an emotional Fish told the 2,300 appreciative fans that lingered after the game for Senior Day ceremonies. He added later, “Their contributions won’t end at the end of this season.”

“It’s good how it ended,” Colbert said after pouring in a game-high 29 points to boost the Bobcats to the win, to the seventh seed in next week’s Big Sky Tournament, and to a 9-9 finish in Big Sky play, “because it’s my last game here.”

The Bobcats play 10th-seeded Sacramento State at 6:35 pm MT/5:35 pm PT at the Reno Events Center on Tuesday in the First Round of the Big Sky Conference Tournament.

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