Griz Host Bengals Thursday, Feb 19

By DAVE GUFFEY

THE GAME: The University of Montana Grizzlies (14-10/10-3 BSC) play their final two home games of the regular season at home, beginning with the Idaho State Bengals (6-19/3-10) in a Big Sky Conference game, Thursday, Feb. 19, in UM’s Dahlberg Arena, with tip-off at 7:05 p.m.  (Mtn.).

UP NEXT? The Grizzlies host Weber State on Saturday, Feb. 21, on “Senior Night,” as they will recognize seniors, Jordan Gregory, Chris Kemp, and Mike Weisner prior to the game.

RADIO: Veteran Mick Holien calls the action and Greg Sundberg serves as the color analyst.  Follow the action on UM’s flagship stations KGVO 1290 AM/ & 101.5 FM, on the Grizzly Radio Network from Learfield Sports.   

STREAMING/TV: Video streaming is available on WatchBigSky.com, and video and audio streaming on gogriz.com (with a subscription).  There is no TV coverage.

UM’S LAST WEEK: (Montana 83, at N. Colorado 81 (3 OTs): Gregory made two clutch free throws with 2.2 seconds left in the third OT in a thriller in Greeley.

 (Montana 65, at UND 61):  Gregory and Martin Breunig combined for 35 points and 14 rebounds to lead the Griz.  Gregory scored a game-high 20 points and had 6 rebounds, while Breunig added 15 points and a team-best 8 boards.

GRIZ-BENGALS LAST TIME: (Montana 90, at ISU 64): The Grizzlies nailed a season-high 15 3-pointers en route to the win.  Brandon Gfeller was one of four Grizzly starters who scored in double figures, and had a career-high 23 points.

GREGORY UPDATE: Gregory has scored 1,075 career points, which moves him up to 20th on UM’s career list.  (See page 3 of the weekly release).

GRIZ IN NCAAS (as of 2/17/15):  Bruenig is ranked 16th in field goal percentage (58.2%) and 102nd in scoring (16.6 ppg).  Gregory is 49th in 3-point percentage (37.9%), 52nd in 3-pointers made per game (2.63), and 93rd in scoring (16.8 ppg).  Mario Dunn is ranked 85th in steals (1.79 pg).  Gfeller is ranked 21st in 3-point percentage (43.0%) and 629th in trey attempts per game (2.54).  UM is 26th in treys made per game (8.4), 40th in 3-pointers made (202), 62nd in 3-point attempts (533), and 64th in TO margin (1.8).

GRIZ-BENGAL SERIES: Montana leads 98-46 and has won 10 in a row.

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Quoting Head Coach Travis DeCuire

Travis Decuire UM head coachWHAT CONCERNS YOU ABOUT ISU?: “Transition.  They are really good at getting the ball down the floor.  I didn’t think we did a very good job of keeping them out of the paint the last time we played them.  Their isos (sic); their post touches – they’re just really good at attacking the rim.  They’re going to challenge us on our defensive philosophies, in terms of keeping them out of the paint – they’re going to really challengeus.”

ISU HAS SOME TALENTED PLAYERS, PLUS YOUR TEAM HIT 15 3-POINTERS IN THE WIN THERE: “That’s what I talked about to the guys today before we watched film, is that if you take away Jordan’s (Gregory) first five threes, and I think they kind of played us straight up from that point.  We had a little more of a run in the second half, but it’s a team that can play with a lot of people, and this is going to be a big game for them.  What I told the guys is that their backs are against the wall, and we’ve got to realize that we are playing for something as well.”

YOUR KEY OR KEYS TO THE ISU GAME: “Transition defense is big for us, and then containing penetration for the most part.  I think they will try to post us up, one through five, and we just have to do a good job keeping that ball out of there.”

YOUR COMMENTS ON LAST WEEK’S ROAD WINS: “We’re growing up.  I think we are handling adversity through games.  I am not sure we are quite where we need to be in terms of handling success, in getting up and playing the same way that we playing the same way to get to that point.  We are doing a good job of fighting, and having each other’s backs on both sides of the ball, and it’s a fun team to watch.”