Montana at Weber State in Marquee Showdown


The outright first place spot on the Big Sky Conference men’s basketball table is up for grabs on Saturday as the Montana Grizzlies (18-8, 13-2 BSC) take on the Weber State Wildcats (21-7, 13-2 BSC) in Ogden, Utah, on Saturday, Feb. 27 at the Dee Events Center.

The Griz and Wildcats have been neck-and-neck virtually all season for the top spot in the Big Sky. With only two games left for both teams before the conference tournament, Saturday’s contest is being billed as a must win for both teams.

This will be the first time the two have met this season due to uneven conference alignment, but may not be the last. With each team in the league taking a trip to Reno for the conference tournament, Montana and Weber State could well meet again for a trip to the NCAA tournament, just as the pundits predicted they would at the beginning of the season.

2016-02-27_0908COVERAGE: The Montana/Weber State game can be seen live on KJZZ TV in the Utah market only. Fans can watch the action live and for free at Links to live stats and a live audio stream can be found at, and live tweets can be found @UMGRIZZLIES_BB.

SERIES HISTORY: Montana leads the all-time series with Weber State 71-50, but Weber leads the all-time series when played in Ogden 44-15.

The Dee Events Center in Ogden has been a notoriously tough place for the Griz to win over the last decade however. Montana’s last win at Weber was a 66-65 thriller in the 2009-10 Big Sky Conference Championship game when Anthony Johnson set a new school record with 42 points to send the Griz to the big dance.

UM’s last regular season win over WSU was back in the ’03-’04 season under Pat Kennedy. The Wildcats have rattled off 11 straight regular season home wins against the Griz.

WHAT’S AT STAKE: While the regular season Big Sky championship won’t be 100% decided on Saturday, it will sure go a long way toward deciding a winner. What we do know is that both Montana and Weber have both clinched a top-four spot, and a first round bye at the conference tourney in Reno.

Montana and Weber both have two games left in the regular season. The Griz will play at home against North Dakota and Northern Colorado next week, while the Wildcats will have to go on the road, and face two of the other top-four teams in the conference, Idaho and Eastern Washington.


LAST TIME OUT: Montana received career high performances from both Walter Wright and true freshman Bobby Moorehead who put up 29 points and 24 points, respectively, to lead the Grizzlies to a 90-77 win over a dangerous Idaho State team.

The Wildcats battled their way to a come-from-behind 68-60 victory over Montana State on Thursday, and did so without the assistance of the Big Sky’s top rebounder, Joel Bolomboy, who sat out with an injury.

GRIZ TRACKS: Defense has been a calling card of the Montana Grizzlies this season, but the Griz are rapidly becoming an offensive attack team. Overall, Montana sits eighth in the Big Sky in scoring offense, putting up an average of 73.5 per night.

But if you look at conference games only, that number skyrockets. In league play, the Griz are now second in scoring offense, averaging 79.2 points per contest, and at 13-2 in league play, are winning games efficiently, with a +9.7 scoring margin.

The long ball has been one of the deadliest weapons for the Griz this season, as UM leads the league in three-point field goal percentage, making nearly 43 percent of the treys they attempt so far this year.

The Griz are 14-1 when scoring more than 75 points per game this season.

But about that defense… turns out that’s pretty good too. The Griz have the third best scoring defense in the Big Sky, holding opponents to 69.5 PPG.

While we know Montana can shoot the long ball, UM also leads the Big Sky in three-point defense, allowing opponents to make only .320 percent of the treys attempted.

GRIZBITS: Martin Breunig scored his eleventh double-double of the season against Idaho State, quietly putting down 14 points and 11 rebounds.

Walter Wright put up his fifth 20+ point performance against the Bengals, dropping the most points he’s scored as a Grizzly with 29.

For the second-straight week, a Grizzly true freshman has posted a new career high. Last week Michael Oguine put up 27 points against Montana State, and on Thursday, Bobby Moorehead drained eight three-pointers (just one from tying the school record) for 24 points.