Griz Host Wildcats Thursday, Feb 20th

By DAVE GUFFEY for GoGriz.com

THE GAME: With just six regular-season Big Sky Conference games remaining, the University of Montana Grizzlies (7-7/12-11) begin an important four-game league homestand, starting with the league favorite and the first-place Weber State Wildcats (11-3/14-8), Thursday, Feb. 20.  Tip-off is at 7:05 p.m. in UM’s Dahlberg Arena (7,321).

UP NEXT: The Griz host the Idaho State Bengals on Saturday, Feb. 22.

GRIZ VERSUS WILDCATS EARLIER THIS SEASON: At WEBER STATE 68, MONTANA 63: The game featured 15 lead changes and 11 ties.  The Griz knotted the game up at 50-50 for the 11th and final time when Jordan Gregory nailed a 3-pointer with 9:19 remaining.  Following Gregory’s game-tying trey, the Wildcats took a 52-50 lead on two free throws by Joel Bolomboy, and they led the rest of the way.  Kareem Jamar led the Griz with 20 points, while Mike Weisner scored a career-high 17 points.  Davion Berry led WSU with 22 points, while Bolomboy pulled down a career-high 19 boards.  WSU led 34-30 at halftime.

2014-02-19_1550COACH TINKLE THIRD IN CAREER WINS AT MONTANA: Head Coach Wayne Tinkle’s 153 career wins are the third most ever at Montana, and he needs two more to move up to second and pass Mike Montgomery, who had 154 career wins in eight seasons from 1979-86.  Tinkle’s 153 career wins ties him for the seventh most in league history with former Gonzaga/MSU mentor Hank Anderson (153-133, 1963-74). (See add2-2-2).

JAMAR SIXTH IN CAREER SCORING/ FIFTH IN CAREER ASSISTS: Jamar has 1,558 career points which ranks him sixth all-time at Montana.  He needs 60 more points to pass former forward Andrew Strait (1,617 points from 2005-08) and move up to fifth.  Jamar’s 1,558 career points rank him 24th in Big Sky history.

Jamar’s 386 career assists rank him fifth all-time at UM.  He needs 12 more assists to pass former teammate Will Cherry (397, 2010-13) for fourth. His 386 career assists rank him 22nd in league history.  (See add 3-3-3).

Head Coach: Randy Rahe (Buena Vista College-Iowa, 1982/164-83/8th season at WSU)

SERIES:  The Wildcats lead 66-52.

QUOTING COACH TINKLE: 

ON WSU: “It’s really a key game for us as we start a four-game home stand, and losing a couple of games on the road, and being in the middle of the pack.  It’s a big game.  They are the team that was picked (in the preseason polls) to win it.  They’re coming off a tough overtime loss (78-75) at Idaho State last (Monday) night.  We know they are going to be fired up.

“I don’t think there’s going to be any extra motivation about what has happened in the past.  They’re trying to secure the regular-season championship and bounce back from a tough loss.  We know it’s going to be a heck of a game, and our guys will be up for the challenge.

“They’ve got great inside-outside players.  Davion Berry is a versatile player, and then you throw in (6-10 senior center Kyle) Tresnak and (6-9 sophomore forward Joel) Bolomboy, and those are three talented guys.

“Even their younger guys – (6-2 freshman guard Jeremy) Senglin and (6-4 freshman guard Richaud) Gittens are playing well for them right now.  And (6-1 starting senior guard Jordan) Richardson is a fourth-year guy with a ton of experience, and then you add the athleticism inside.  They are the full package.  They’ve shown they have some vulnerabilities there, but they are an awfully talented group, and I know they’re going to be at their best when we tip it up on Thursday.”

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ON THE BIG SKY RACE: “It’s big for us to take care of business at home.  We’ve already tripped up a couple of times here.  We’ve got to try to find a way to get some separation, so that the pressure doesn’t grow from each game down the stretch.  If we can take care of a couple here, starting with Weber, then we’ll be able to move on to the next thing.  You know our guys have always bounced back when their backs are against the wall, and I am confident that they will do that again this weekend.”

MEDIA COVERAGE

RADIO: UM’s longtime “Voice of the Grizzlies,” Mick Holien calls the play-by-play and Greg Sundberg serves as color analyst.  The game can be heard on Montana’s flagship station, KGVO 1290 AM/ & 101.5 FM, and the Grizzly Radio Network from Learfield Sports (which is listed on add 4).

LIVE STATS: gogriz.com/all-access.

TWITTER: @umgrizzlies_bb & umgrizzlies_sid.

VIDEO STREAMING: www.watchbigsky.com.

TV:  There is no TV coverage.

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