The University of Montana Western men’s basketball team will be hosting Montana State University-Northern and Great Falls this coming weekend in Frontier Conference basketball action. MSU-Northern is currently tied for the conference lead with Rocky as they each have 9-3 conference records. The Argos from Great Falls and UMW are tied for fourth in the conference with 7-5 records.
The conference tournament only takes the top six teams, so this weekends’ games will have an enormous impact on the tournament. The top two teams receive byes, while the third and fourth seeds host first round games.
On Thursday evening the Bulldogs face MSU-Northern who has won five consecutive games. In the first meeting of the season the Northern Lights won 61-52 on Jan. 9. In that game Corbin Pearson led MSU-Northern with a double-double when he had 15 points and grabbed 14 rebounds. The other team leaders are Alfie Miller who is averaging 15 points a game and Roshawn West who is dishing out better than two assists a game.
Saturday’s contest pits two 7-5 Frontier Conference teams against each other. The two teams are tied for fourth in the standings. A first round home game in the conference tournament could be at stake. The two teams met in Great Falls on Jan. 25 and the Argos came out on top with a last second basket that gave them the 54-52 win. UGF is led by Frontier Conference scoring leader Marcel Towns who is averaging 21.7 points per game. To go along with his scoring prowess he is averaging three steals a game. Naren Maynard is bringing down almost seven boards a contest. The Argos will be coming off a road game in Salt Lake City on Thursday night.
Montana Western is coming off a home split where they dropped their game versus conference leader Rocky on Friday, and bounced back nicely to get a convincing win versus Dickinson State. In the first contest versus MSU-Northern the Bulldogs had three men in double figures. Maazin Butler had 13, Jake Owsley had 12 points and nine rebounds, and Jordan Overstreet had 12 points. When UMW faced UGF on Jan. 25 the Bulldogs went 15-for-27 for 55 percent from the free-throw line. Montana Western also committed 20 turnovers in the first meeting. Jake Owsley had 14 points and Jordan Overstreet had ten points.
Thursday’s game tips off at 7:30 p.m. and is Military Appreciation and all former and current military personnel receive free admission. In addition, the game is a “black out” game and fans are encouraged to wear black clothing. Saturday is senior night and tip-off is at 7:30 p.m. The Bulldog basketball seniors will be honored between the women’s and men’s games. The game is also a “Pink Zone” game which honors survivors of breast cancer and raises awareness. Free admission is given to those wearing pink. All proceeds benefit the Southwest Montana Mammography Program at Barrett Hospital and Healthcare.
Both games can be seen via UMW Webcast at http://www.livestream.com/westernbulldogs.