By CHRIS WALTERSKIRCHEN
For the first time in a very long time the Montana Lady Griz head to Bozeman for their annual ” Brawl Of the wild” with the MSU women’s team with a lot of the line. A loss to the cats and for the first time since the two Montana schools have been in the same league, MSU will have a full, 4-game lead over the Lady Griz in the standings. An MSU win Saturday would mark the first time in 13 years that the cats will have beaten the Lady Griz in consecutive seasons in Bozeman.
Montana is still relying on likely league MVP Kayleigh Valley and and MCallie Feller. The tandem of Feller andValley are ranked in the top 10 in virtually all categories except for assists. Valley leads the league in scoring and rebounding, blocked shots, field goal percentage free throws and minutes. Feller is among the leaders and follows Valley in several categories, but shines in 3-point makes and percentage as well as being fourth in the league in minutes played.
The Grizzly men enter their Saturday night game in Bozeman sporting a gaudy 10-game win streak in the series. The Bobcats’ last win over the Griz came on February 28, 2010 in Missoula.
The Bobcats are gunning for a good conference mark to set them up for success in the league tournament in March, as MSU hasn’t won a Big Sky tournament since March of 2009.
Freshman Tyler Hall from Rock Island Illinois has made an immediate impression for the Cats among the league leaders in both field goal percentage and free throw percentage.
Looking ahead for the Griz, Montana has just one game with Weber State and that will be in Ogden on February 25.
The last time the Griz played the Bobcats in Bozeman on January 30th was in 1988. In a close game in the closing minute a Bobcat fan got so upset over a call that he tosssed a can of soda onto the court earning then player, Wayne Tinkle and additional free throw which proved to be the difference in a 59-58 win.
The February 7th Super Bowl will be telecast by CBS, but it might be more appropriate for the game to be on Fox. You see in both the Broncos and Panthers last trips to the Super Bowl their coach was current Bears Head coach John Fox.
Chris Walterskirchen has been an observer of Montana sports for nearly half a century. A Kalispell native, Chris has worked in various capacities for professional and college sports organization of at various times: ranging from announcing and statistical work to the concessions and even a stint as a costumed mascot.
Chris has academic degrees in communications and elementary education. His style of sports trivia involves more than just who won and who lost, but also focuses on the obscure or human side of sports. In this blog you will learn things like the Grizzly football team has won 210 games over the 19 seasons since they have had Monte as their mascot or that UNLV is the only school that both the Griz and Lady Griz have both faced in the NCAA basketball tournament
When not following sports Chris enjoys taking care of animals of all kinds (a peacock rescue?) and reading to pre-schoolers.