Montana Upsets No. 17 Stanford 70-68

Dec 17, 2002

Stanford, Calif. - David Bell had been shooting brilliantly all game, but Montana's final shot was supposed to be taken by someone else.

When that teammate was covered, Bell took it himself.

His 3-pointer with 4.3 seconds left gave the Grizzlies a 70-68 upset over No. 17 Stanford on Monday night in the first round of the Stanford Invitational.

Bell, a 6-foot-1 senior, finished with 24 points and was 6-of-8 from 3-point range.

Stanford hurt itself with an abysmal 17-of-32 showing at the free-throw line.

'This was just great for me,' said Bell, who is from nearby Hayward. 'My family was here, all my friends were here. I am in a zone right now. This is my breakout game this year. I've been having some tough shooting games lately, and this one helps make up for them.'

Stanford's Matt Lottich hit a 3 that bounced off the rim and then in with 46 seconds left for a 68-66 lead, then Montana's Steve Horne made one free throw with 21 seconds left. Josh Childress of Stanford (5-2) then missed the front-end of a 1-and-1 and the Grizzlies got the ball back with 17 seconds remaining.

Montana (4-6), which won for the first time in three road games, advanced to face Pepperdine (4-3) in Tuesday's championship game. The Waves defeated Richmond 83-77.

Stanford had won the past four titles in its own tournament.

'We tried to pull this script off before,' first-year Montana coach Pat Kennedy said. 'We had a lead late against Gonzaga but we couldn't finish it. We were able to finish it tonight.'

Childress led the Cardinal with 14 points, while Lottich, Justin Davis, Rob Little and Julius Barnes each added 11.

Stanford used a 7-0 run to break a 45-all tie, then Montana followed with seven straight points, including a three-point play by Chris McKay, to tie the game at 52 with 9:11 left.

The Cardinal went on a 6-0 spurt, but the Grizzlies wouldn't go away. Ryan Pederson hit a baseline 3-pointer to pull his team within 60-59 with 4:19 left, but Dan Grunfeld answered with a 3.

Pederson made another 3 at 1:53 to make it 65-64 Stanford, and the Cardinal turned the ball over on their next possession. Horne, who had 14 points for Montana, converted two free throws with 1:02 remaining as the Grizzlies took the lead.

Bell made all four of his 3-point attempts and had 16 points in the first half as Montana took a 35-34 lead. Stanford had many opportunities to take control of the game, but struggled to convert free throws. The Cardinal were 10-of-21 from the line in the first half and shot 39 percent from the field.

Entering Monday's game, Stanford was allowing opponents to shoot only 40 percent, had forced 89 turnovers and held a rebounding advantage in five of six games.

Montana shot 47 percent and committed only nine turnovers to the Cardinal's 15. The Grizzlies overcame a 42-22 rebounding disadvantage.

'We got what we deserved,' Stanford coach Mike Montgomery said. 'Montana came in and played much better than I or the rest of the coaching staff thought they would. We probably gave up 18 or 19 points at the free-throw line. At times we were dominant on the boards, but that happens in games sometimes. We just never got separation from them.'

Montgomery was trying to beat the school where his head coaching career began back in 1978. He spent eight seasons directing the Grizzlies, and is now 1-1 against them.

This was only the third meeting in the series that began in 1930-31 with a 34-33 home victory by Stanford.


AP Sports Writer

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