UMW News BureauThe University of Montana Western Bulldog women’s and men’s basketball teams play their final regular season home games Friday, Feb. 17 against the Montana Tech Orediggers. By Lowell Peterson [caption id="" align="alignleft" width="331" caption="The Bulldogs women's basketball team in a huddle during the 2011 Pink Zone events."][/caption] The University of Montana Western Bulldog women’s and men’s basketball teams play their final regular season home games Friday, Feb. 17 against the Montana Tech Orediggers. Friday's games will be part of the national Pink Zone breast cancer awareness event. All fans wearing pink will be admitted for free and donations will be accepted for the Bulldogs' efforts to help fund the Barrett Hospital’s Southwest Montana Mammography Program. Last year the women's basketball team raised $2,644 for the program. The night will also honor the six Bulldogs seniors: Nicole Tams from the women’s team and Brandon Brown, Tyler Hurley, Kyle Erickson, Kyle Perry and Bridger Chambers from the men’s team. The Montana Western women (3-8, 13-11) are currently in seventh place in the Frontier Conference standings. Montana Tech (4-7, 9-14) is in fifth place and is in an uphill battle to finish fourth and host a conference play-off game. Game time for the women’s contest is 5:30 p.m. Hayley Pettit enters the game as the Bulldogs’ leading scorer and rebounder, averaging 17.0 points and 12.2 rebounds per game. She has recorded a Frontier Conference-leading 15 double-doubles (points and rebounds). Pettit has also had an excellent year from the free throw line, going 116-153 (.758) and leads the team in steals with 38 (1.6 avg.) and blocked shots with 23 (0.9 avg.). Sammi Bignell averages 13.6 points per game and has made 27 of 80 three point shots on the season. Tams averages 10.6 points per game and is 17-47 (.362) from beyond the three point arc. Alecia Wilson leads the team in assists with 110 (4.6 avg.). Kassi Kerbs has the best three point shooting percentage at .382 (21-55) and the best free throw percentage with .958 (23-24). Kaci Matthies leads the team in field goal percentage at .571 (32-56). The Montana Western men (8-3, 20-7) are in first place in the Frontier Conference standings with a 1.5-game lead over second place Montana State-Northern. Montana Tech (3-8, 11-11) is last in the conference but will come into Friday's game on the heels of a 63-55 upset victory over Northern. Game time for the men’s contest is 7:30 p.m. Brown leads the Bulldogs in points scored with 581 points (21.5 per game average), in assists with 123 (4.6 average), in steals with 63 (2.3 average), in field goals made (197), in three pointers made (49) and in free throws made (138). Hurley averages 13.3 points per game and is the leading rebounder at 6.0 per game. Erickson averages 11.9 points and 5.9 rebounds per game and leads the team in field goal percentage at .558 (120-215). Gabe Rucker has the best three point shooting percentage at .429 (9-21) and Tyler Miller has the best free throw percentage with .800 (28-35). Perry leads the team in blocked shots with 39 (1.5 average).
The University of Montana Western has launched a national search for the provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs position.