UMW men's basketball opens conference play at home

UMW News Bureau

The University of Montana Western Bulldogs men’s basketball team opens Frontier Conference play at home on Jan. 6 and 7. Friday’s conference opener is against the Lewis-Clark State Warriors at 7:30 p.m. and on Saturday the Bulldogs face the Westminster College Griffins also at 7:30 p.m. By Lowell Peterson The University of Montana Western Bulldogs men’s basketball team opens Frontier Conference play at home on Jan. 6 and 7. Friday’s conference opener is against the Lewis-Clark State Warriors at 7:30 p.m. and on Saturday the Bulldogs face the Westminster College Griffins also at 7:30 p.m. Montana Western enters conference play with an impressive nonconference record under head coach Steve Keller. The Bulldogs are 12-4 on the season and received enough votes in the last NAIA national rankings poll to place them just out of the top 25 at 29th. The Bulldogs face L-C State in their conference opener. The Warriors bring an 11-3 record into the game under first-year head coach Brandon Rinta. Westminster, under first-year coach Adam Hiatt, is 12-4 on the year. The Griffins are ranked 10th in the latest NAIA national poll. Bulldog senior Brandon Brown leads the way for the Bulldogs. He leads the conference in scoring at 22.5 points per game, which ranks 10th in the NAIA. Brown is also the conference leader in steals per game at 2.8, tying him for 16th in the NAIA, and his 33 made three point shots ties him for 18th nationally. Tyler Hurley scores 13.3 points per game and is the team leader in rebounds at 5.6 per game. Brown is the assists leader with 4.2 per game. The Bulldogs score 79.1 points per game and hold their opponents to 71.5. Their field goal percentage is .467 and they hold their opponents to .437. PJ Bolte leads the Warriors in scoring (16.2) and rebounds (6.8) per game. Donte Archie is the assists leader with 3.5 per game and Joey Wayman leads in steals with 2.1. Five other L-C State players score between 9.6 and 7.4 points per game, providing good offensive balance. The Warriors average 84.6 points per game and hold their opponents to 60.2. Their field goal percentage is .480 and they hold their opponents to .402. Westminster is led in scoring by Jake Orchard (16.1) and Ben Walker (13.1). Walker also is the top rebounder at five rebounds per game. Jordan Hayter is the assists leader with 2.8 per game. The Griffins average 76 points per game and allow 66.9. The team field goal percentage is .511 and they hold their opponents to .433. Both games are scheduled for a 7:30 p.m. start in the Straugh Gymnasium on the Montana Western campus.