By ERIC TABER
The Montana Grizzlies will be looking for their third-straight win, and their second win of the year over the Northern Arizona Lumberjacks as NAU pays a visit to Dahlberg Arena on Saturday, Feb. 13 for a Big Sky Conference tussle.
The Big Sky’s No. 1 Griz (15-8, 10-2 BSC) enter Saturday’s contest riding high after a lights-out shooting performance where UM shot better than 70 percent from three-point land to thump Southern Utah 86-53.
The Lumberjacks head to Missoula after falling victim to a red hot Montana State team that set a new Big Sky record by sinking 25 three-pointers to defeat NAU 101-58
LAST MEETING: The Griz made 18 three-point shots to break the UM school record for most threes in a game, en route to a dramatic, come from behind, 90-84 double-overtime victory over NAU on New Years Eve in Flagstaff.
SERIES HISTORY: Montana leads the all time series with the Jacks 64-32 after the double overtime win on New Years Eve. NAU was picked to finish fourth in the preseason Big Sky Polls, while the Griz were picked to finish first.
GRIZ TRACKS: It’s hard to overstate just how good Martin Breunig has been for the Grizzlies in his second season wearing maroon and silver.
The senior forward from Germany has steadily climbed his way into one of the nation’s most effective players with ball in hand, currently carrying the nation’s seventh-best field goal percentage with 65.1.
In Big Sky Conference play, Breunig carries the best field goal percentage in the league at 69.6. Against the Thunderbirds, he went 7-10 from the field, the twelfth time he’s shot for 70 percent or better this year. Thursday’s game was also the 13th time he’s scored more than 20 points in an outing this year.
At 19.2 points per game, Breunig is putting together one of the top six seasons in Montana history, tied with Michael Ray Richardson who averaged 19.2 PPG as a junior, and Anthony Johnson who also posted 19.2 PPG as a senior for sixth.
Breunig hasn’t been alone in leading the Grizzlies to the top of the conference. True Freshman Michael Oguine is averaging 10.3 PPG, one of only two Grizzlies to average more than 10 points per game as a freshman (the other: Kevin Criswell in 2002-03, who averaged 15.1 as a frosh).
POINTS = WINS: The Griz are 11-1 this season when scoring 75 points or more.
The Grizzlies and Lumberjacks are set to tip off at 7 p.m. Tickets still available at GrizTix.com.