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Bulldog basketball returns to the Straugh Gymnasium

UMW News Bureau

The University of Montana Western Bulldog basketball teams will return to Dillon, Mont. and the Straugh Gymnasium this weekend, Jan. 14 and 15, for two nights of conference play. The women tip off at 5:30 p.m. each night while the men follow each night at 7:30 p.m. By Brett Morehouse & Lowell Peterson The University of Montana Western women’s basketball team will look for their first conference victory of the season when they play host to the University of Great Falls and Montana State University-Northern this weekend, Jan. 14 and 15, in Montana Western’s Straugh Gymnasium. Tip-off is set for 5:30 p.m. for both the Friday and Saturday games.
 The University of Great Falls will enter their contest against the Bulldogs with an 8-8 record overall and a 1-0 record in the Frontier Conference. The Argonauts have won three straight contests, including an 85-73 home victory over Montana State University-Northern (MSU-Northern) in their Frontier Conference opener. Great Falls is led by junior forward Kezia Ford, who is averaging 12.5 points per game and senior center Jamie Young, who averages 7.1 rebounds per game. On Saturday night the Bulldogs will take on the MSU-Northern Skylights. The Skylights have accumulated a 9-8 overall record and will enter weekend play sitting at 0-1 in the Frontier Conference. The Skylights feature one of the top players in the Frontier Conference, Samm Schermele, who averages just over 18 points per game. Montana Western lost both games during the opening weekend of Frontier Conference play and currently stand at 4-10 overall and 0-2 in conference. The long road trip through Idaho and Utah was highlighted by a strong performance versus #3 Lewis-Clark State College, but was followed by a disappointing defensive night at #11 Westminster. The Bulldogs hope to use the friendly confines of the Straugh Gymnasium to get back into the thick of the conference race. Montana Western is 2-1 at home this season, where they average 89.3 points per game while giving up just 67.3. The Montana Western men’s basketball team looks to get back on the winning track this weekend with home games against the University of Great Falls and Montana State University-Northern. The Montana Western Bulldogs are coming off their toughest road trip of the year with losses to Lewis-Clark State College and Westminster College. Montana Western is currently 0-2 in conference play and 12-5 overall on the season. The UGF Argos are currently 0-1 in conference play and 7-9 overall. Mark Ceyela, a 6’3” senior guard, leads the Argos in scoring with 15.1 points per game. Melvin Williams, a 6’2” junior guard, and L.J. Jones, a 6’6” junior forward, also score in double figures at 11.4 and 10.9 respectively. The UGF team averages 78.3 points per game while giving up 71.6. The Lights of MSU-Northern, victorious over UGF 75-67 last week, are currently 1-0 in the conference and 12-4 overall. They received votes in the national NAIA poll ranking them in the top 30. Shaun Tatarka, a 6’1” junior guard from Great Falls High, is the leading scorer for the Lights at 14.5 points per game. Also scoring in double figures are Devin Jackson, a 6’1” sophomore guard, at 13.8 and 6’2” junior guard, LaVon Myers, with 12.1. The Lights score 77.7 points per game while holding their opponents to just 60.7. The Bulldogs are scoring 78.0 points per game while giving up 66.8. Montana Western is led in scoring by junior Brandon Brown, who is averaging 19.5 points per game, which is the best in the Frontier Conference. Brown scored 25 points in each game against L-C State and Westminster last weekend. Senior Cody Thueringer scores at a 14.4 points per game clip and junior Tyler Hurley chips in with 11.2 points per game. Both games, against UGF on Friday, Jan. 14 and MSU-Northern on Saturday, Jan. 15 will be played at 7:30 p.m. following the UMW women’s games against the same teams.