BOZEMAN — The Montana State men's basketball team has yet to drop a game in 2022.
Xavier Bishop poured in 26 points and Jubrile Belo had a double-double as the Bobcats outlasted Northern Arizona 89-84 on Thursday evening in Flagstaff.
It was the first game for MSU (13-5, 5-2) since beating Montana at home on Jan. 9. The Bobcats' game against Southern Utah, scheduled for Jan. 15, was postponed due to covid issues. MSU has won all four of its 2022 contests.
Belo's double-double was made up of 14 points and 11 rebounds. Tyler Patterson also had 14 points — including four 3-pointers — for the Bobcats and Nick Gazelas had 12 while shooting 3-for-5 from beyond the arc.
MSU rolled to a 50-35 halftime lead and led by as many as 17 in the second half before the Lumberjacks began chipping away, eventually tying the game at 79-79 with 1:35 remaining off a 3-pointer from Jalen Cone, who matched Bishop with 26 points. Gazelas then scored the next six points to put the Bobcats up 85-79 with 28 seconds remaining to ice the game.
The Bobcats travel to take on Portland State on Saturday.
Darian White scored a team-high 16 points and hit the 1,000 career-point mark as the Bobcats handled NAU 88-73 for their second-straight victory.
MSU improved to 9-8 overall and 4-2 in conference play as it's home success continued, dropping just one game this season at Brick Breeden Fieldhouse.
In all, four Bobcats scored in double digits. Katelynn Limardo had 15, Leia Beattie scored 14 and Kola Bad Bear had 13. Both Limardo and Beattie scored three triples.
Montana State built a 23-21 lead after the first quarter then expanded that advantage to 47-39 at the half. The Lumberjacks got within 5 points early in the third quarter but couldn't close the gap.
NAU's Khiarica Rasheed matched White with 16 points and Emily Rodabaugh and Nina Radford each had 14.
MSU now continues its homestand, hosting Portland State on Saturday and Montana on Monday.