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Montana defeats Northern Arizona, 71-54

Dec 5, 2009 - 4:31 AM MISSOULA, Mont.(AP) -- Anthony Johnson scored 22 points on 8-for-11 shooting to lead Montana to a 71-54 victory over Northern Arizona Friday night in the Big Sky Conference opener for both teams.

Freshman Will Cherry added 10 points and five assists for the Grizzlies (5-2), who were coming off a tight 63-59 loss to No. 12 Washington in Seattle last weekend.

Montana shot 56 percent from the field on Friday and forced 17 Lumberjack turnovers.

Northern Arizona (2-4) cut Montana's lead to seven on a 3-point play from Shane Johannsen with 8:52 left, after the Grizzlies opened up a double-figure lead from a 34-31 halftime edge.

A pair of Montana 3-pointers from Michael Taylor and Raason Young put the game out of reach. The final 17-point margin was the biggest of the game.

Johannsen finished with 16 points to lead the Lumberjacks.