**For Immediate Release**
Aggies Hammer Montana State-Billings,
by Aggie Sports on 02/23/06
Goodwell, Okla. - The Montana State University-Billings
men’s basketball team came into the Oklahoma Panhandle
State gym on Wednesday aiming to clinch first place in
the Heartland Conference. They left Goodwell quietly a
few hours later after being hammered by the Aggies, 80-60.
It was a great team effort by OPSU, led by their starting
five. All seniors, the starters include Tim Anderson and
Eddie Moss (guards), Aaron Harrison (center), and with
Nick Malinowski and William Preston (forwards).
The Yellowjackets entered the game as the second highest
scoring team in the country in NCAA Division II with a
98.8 point per game average in conference action. The OPSU
defense held them to nearly 40 points less than their average
with an outstanding effort.
OPSU came out fast in the first half, shooting 53% from
the field and playing tenacious defense. Aggie guard Anderson
was a 5’10, 185-pound stick of dynamite in the opening
period, scoring 11 points and making big plays at both
ends of the court. A visibly stunned MSUB squad, with an
overall record of 19-4 going into the game, went to the
halftime break trailing 48-26.
The Aggies came out for the second half equally determined
and never let their opponents get any closer than 16 points
(71-55 with 6:45 left to play). An enthusiastic crowd enjoyed
every minute of the victory as OPSU upped their conference
record to 6-5 and grabbed an inside track to a conference
playoff berth. With the loss, MSUB slipped into a tie for
first place in the league with St. Edward’s, a team
the Aggies beat 61-60 last week in Goodwell.
There were several great performances for OPSU. Preston
was outstanding, leading all scorers with 21 points and
pulling down eight rebounds. A determined Anderson scored
16 on the night and fought his way through much taller
players for seven rebounds.
Moss was held to five points (eight below his average),
but his pinpoint passing resulted in ten assists. The inside
duo of Malinowski and Harrison was a huge factor, as Harrison
scored a dozen and wiped the boards for a game high nine
rebounds, and Malinowski scored 11 and snared eight rebounds.
Brandon Woods, OPSU’s 6’9 freshman center, gave
fans a good glimpse of the future with six points (making
all three of his shot attempts) and snagging three rebounds
in 11 minutes on the court.
The top four teams in the league qualify for the post
season playoffs. MSUB and St. Edward’s have clinched
the top two spots, and both have 9-2 records with one game
left to play. The Aggies, St. Mary’s, and Western
New Mexico are in a dead heat for third with 6-5 records,
and each also has one game left. The Aggies will go against
Lincoln on Friday, who lost to Western New Mexico 86-72
It should be a big night for the Aggies on Friday as they
will play their final regular season home game. It will
be a part of a men’s and women’s double header
and through the sponsorship of EPIC TOUCH, the game will
offered free to the public.