The Montana State Bobcats and the California Golden Bears meet Thursday in college basketball action from Haas Pavilion. Montana State is currently 1-1 on the season following a loss to Seattle in their last outing. As for California, they’re 2-1 overall and coming off a Monday win over CSU Bakersfield. Check back all season long for free college basketball picks at Sports Chat Place.
Montana State Bobcats
The Bobcats didn’t have much difficulty in their opener versus Northwest Indian College last Monday. Montana State scored 45 points in the first half and 58 more from there in a 103-63 blowout win. The Bobcats shot 55.4 percent from the field and 44.1 percent (15-of-34) from 3-point range, notching 16 steals and 34 rebounds as well.
Game two versus Seattle didn’t go quite as well for Montana State. The Bobcats made a run in the second half after falling behind 30-25 at the break, but couldn’t finish it off in a 71-68 loss. Brian Goracke led the team with 18 bench points and three rebounds. Patrick McMahon added 15 points with six rebounds in the losing effort as well.
California Golden Bears
Over on the California side, they had a slim one-point lead over St. Thomas at halftime in their opener but ended up powering out the win 71-66 on 49 percent shooting from the field and 46.7 percent from 3-point range. Game two against Pacific didn’t go quite as well in an 87-79 loss. Cal shot 46.4 percent from the field in that one but hit just six of 23 3-point tries (26.1 percent) as well.
In their latest outing on Monday versus CSU Bakersfield, California got back into the win column in a big way. The Bears posted a 49-34 edge in the first half and scored 34 more points from there in an 83-63 win. All five starters finished in double-figures, including Jalen Cone’s 23 points. Jaylon Tyson added a double-double on 13 points and 12 rebounds.
ANDREW’S FREE PICK
I’m going to stick with California. The Golden Bears posted a solid bounce-back effort in their Monday win over CSU Bakersfield, shooting 40.3 percent from the field and 41.7 percent (15-of-36) from outside. Cal was solid on the boards with a 45-33 rebounding advantage (17-7 offensive) and gave away just eight turnovers. That makes 71 or more points in all three games so far.
As for Montana State, I can see them putting up a nice effort here as well despite coming off the loss. The Bobcats put up 45.5 percent from the floor in the Seattle loss but got out-rebounded 34-27 and only had 10 team assists. If Montana State can clamp down on the defense here I think they’ll follow right along, but ultimately I think it’s California’s cover to take.