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Montana defeats UC Riverside, 67-52

Dec 20, 2009 - 4:24 AM MISSOULA, Mont.(AP) -- Anthony Johnson scored 23 points and Montana had the hot hand early en route to a 67-52 victory over UC Riverside Saturday.

Montana (8-4) sizzled in the opening 20 minutes, sinking 14-of-24 shots from the field and draining 9-of-16 from 3-point range to hold a 40-22 advantage at the break.

Johnson picked up where the Grizzlies left off in the second half, scoring seven straight points in less than two minutes to give Montana its biggest lead at 54-26 with just under 13 minutes remaining.

The Highlanders (6-4) managed to shave the 28-point deficit to 13 by the three-minute mark before Michael Taylor iced the win with a 3-pointer from the corner with under 1:30 to play.

The Grizzlies finished 12-for-25 from 3-point range. Ryan Staudacher added 13 points for Montana. Kyle Austin scored 14 points to lead UC Riverside.