Griz Host NAU Thursday, Jan. 22

By DAVE GUFFEY

THE GAME: The University of Montana Grizzlies (8-8/4-1 BSC) host the Northern Arizona Lumberjacks (8-10/3-2) in a Big Sky Conference game on Thursday, Jan. 22, in UM’s Dahlberg Arena, with tip-off at 7:05 p.m.

UP NEXT? Montana hosts the Southern Utah Thunderbirds on Saturday, Jan. 24.  The two home games this week will be only time in the regular season that the Grizzlies play the Lumberjacks and Thunderbirds.

GRIZ LAST GAME: At Montana 63, Montana State 48: Forward Martin Breunig and guard Mario Dunn combined for 34 points to lead UM.  Dunn tied his career-high with 17 points.  Breunig matched Dunn with 17 points, and he also grabbed a career-high 11 rebounds, while forward Fabijan Krslovic tied a career-best with 9 rebounds, and Dunn added 8 boards.

Griz forward Martin Breunig (Photo by Todd Goodrich UM)GREGORY NEARING 1,000-POINT MARK: : Senior guard Jordan Gregory has 939 points and needs 61 more to become the 29th player to score 1,000 or more career points atMontana.

MEDIA COVERAGE:

  • RADIO: Veteran Mick Holien calls the play-by-play, while Greg Sundberg provides color commentary on UM’s flagship stations KGVO 1290 AM/ & 101.5 FM, and the Grizzly Radio Network from Learfield Sports.    
  • STREAMING/TV: The Griz-Jacks game is available via streaming on gogriz.com via a subscription or on WatchBigSky.com.  There is no television coverage.

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QUOTING GRIZ HEAD COACH TRAVIS DECUIRE:

ON NAU GAME & THE LUMBERJACKS TWO LEADING SCORERS DIXON & UPSHUR: “Defense is the key once again.  It’s about containing guys and minimizing their three-point attempts and their ability to get high-percentage shots for themselves.  If we can slow both of those two guys, or at least one of them down, we’ll have a chance.”

decuire_travisON HOW CRITICAL IT IS TO WIN AT HOME: “That is definitely important to us.  Not only are you talking about a conference race, but respect.  I think that we’ve got a lot of respect to earn, and part of that is holding down homecourt.”

YOU PLAY NAU & S. UTAH JUST ONCE THIS SEASON, AT HOME THIS WEEK, AND THEN NEXT WEEK PLAY AT SAC STATE & AT PORTLAND STATE IN MONTANA’S ONLY GAME AGAINST THEM THIS SEASON.   DOES THAT SET-UP SEEM A BIT USUAL TO YOU: “It’s a little hard to swallow sometimes, but you’ve just got to take care of business when you have the opportunities.  These two weeks of four games are huge, because you don’t get those games back.  You can’t even the score if you fall behind, and they could become tie-breakers for us.  Whether that’s for first, second, or third or whatever place, sometimes that’s how you get in the tournament with a tie-breaker.    It’s going to be important for us to take them one game at a time, but they are definitely huge.”

THE GRIZ HAD A NICE WIN LAST SATURDAY TO EVEN THEIR RECORD TO 8-8.  WHAT YOUR THOUGHTS ON THE WAY YOUR TEAM IS PLAYING & THE PLAY OF FRESHMAN FORWARD FABIJAN KRSLOVIC, WHO HAS EARNED A PERMANENT STARTING BERTH: “His confidence is increasing.  He’s looking to be more aggressive with the ball in his hands.  He’s making some shots.  The other thing about his is that he is a good passer, and he just makes really good decisions with the ball in his hands.  He allows us to play with a lot of flexibility – and that’s huge.

“Coming off of a win over Montana State, I think the team’s confidence overall is high, and we’re just trying to build on it.”