Bulldogs play Westminster in conference playoff title

UMW News Bureau

The Bulldogs edged Montana State University-Northern in the conference playoff semifinals and now play Westminster College for the Frontier Conference playoff title. Tipoff is 7 p.m. from Salt Lake City. By Wally Feldt What looked like a yawner turned out to be a heart-stopping 60-59 victory for the Montana Western Bulldogs over the Montana State University-Northern Lights on Friday, March 5 in the semifinal round of the Frontier Conference men's basketball playoffs. The Bulldogs missed few shots in the game's first 13 minutes and quickly jumped out to a 20-point lead. The Lights came roaring back to cut the lead to seven at the halftime break and stayed hot in the second half as they grabbed their first lead of the game six minutes into the second half. The teams exchanged baskets and leads until two free throws from Layne Glaus sealed the Bulldog victory. The Bulldogs now face regular season champions Westminster College in the championship game Monday, March 9. Tipoff is 7 p.m. from the Behnken Field House on the Westminster campus in Salt Lake City, Utah. The game will be broadcast in southwest Montana on KBEV radio. The Griffins downed Rocky Mountain College 80-68 in the other playoff semifinal. The Bulldogs split their regular season series with Westminster winning in Dillon 82-76 and losing in Salt Lake City  95-77. The loss to the Bulldogs in Dillon was the last loss for the Lights, who are riding a 12-game winning streak. Montana Western enters the tournament with a 24-8 record and is ranked No. 22 in the NAIA Division I Top-25 while Westminster is 25-5 and ranked No. 4. The winner of the championship game receives an automatic bid to the NAIA national tournament beginning March 17 in Kansas City, Mo. with the runner-up assured an at-large bid.