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MSU Men’s Hoops Showcases Defense in 75-49 Season Opener Victory

Head coach Ben Howland and his team showed out on the defensive end of the floor in the Bulldogs’ first victory of the year.

The MSU men’s hoops squad took home their first win of the young season Wednesday night in a 75-49 defensive showcase against the University of North Alabama Lions.

Graduate transfer big man Garrison Brooks led the way for all scorers with 18 points, while sophomore do-it-all man Cam Matthews led the way in rebounds and assists with 14 and 4, respectively.

Despite some woes from the free-throw line, going 15-26 as a team, MSU managed to get the job done at home in a game they were already favored in heavily. A lot of this was due to the team’s ability to get out in transition, scoring 23 points off the break.

Cam Matthews shared his thoughts on how well his team pushed it up and down the floor Tuesday, attributing it to the team’s rebounding.

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“North Alabama was a three-point shooting team, so as long as we gained possession of those long rebounds, those fast breaks will start themselves.”

The Bulldogs were without two of their expected key contributors, though, as Rocket Watts and Tolu Smith both remain out nursing injuries.

Garrison Brooks might have led the team tonight, but he wasn’t shy about how excited he is for all of his teammates to join him on the floor.

“I think it shows you that we can win short-handed, but with those veteran guys, I think it shows you that we can be a really good team," he said.

Many experts have the Bulldogs picked as the first team out when it comes March, but it sounds like if you asked the team, they’re right in the mix. The Bulldogs will look to gain win number two on the year later this week, as Montana visits The Hump on Saturday in a game that tips off at 6 p.m. CT.