The University of Montana Western women’s basketball team hits the road and heads to Idaho. They will be taking the court versus College of Idaho in Nampa, Idaho, and then travel to Caldwell, Idaho, to take on division two Northwest Nazarene.
The Yotes are currently 0-4, and the UMW ladies have faced them once already this season and won by a score of 65-56. It will be a great test to see how the team has improved and how they adjust to a familiar foe. In the first game the Yotes Erica Martinez stung the Bulldogs for 19 points while Elisha Hensey added 16 of her own. Chakala Carthen added 12 points but cleaned up on the glass grabbing 14 total rebounds and 11 of those were on the defensive end. Meanwhile, the bulldogs were led by Kaci Matthies’ 19 points and 9 rebounds. Sammie Bignell added 17 points, 8 rebounds, and 5 assists to go along with Roxy Thurman’s 12 points and 9 rebounds.
“This is a big weekend for us. We will be playing two true road games in row for the first time all season,” said coach Lindsay Woolley. “Last year we didn’t perform well on the road and has been a major area of focus for us during the earlier part of the year. College of Idaho is playing their first home game. So I am sure they will be fired up and ready to go. The played Westminster and Montana Tech tough and have improved quite a bit in the last few weeks. NNU is ranked No. 3 in the GNAC (NCAA D2) and presents a great challenge for us.”
In the second game of the weekend the UMW Bulldogs face Northwest Nazarene. The Crusaders are currently 3-0 and are second in their respective conference, the Great Northwest Athletic Conference, in points per game averaging 79.3 points with a plus-21.3 scoring margin. They are also ranking No. 2 in the conference in turnover margin. Two players that the Bulldog defense will have to control are Megan Hingstrom averaging 20.0 points per game, which ranks her fourth in the conference in scoring, and Chelsie Luke who is averaging 16.3 points per game.
The Lady Bulldogs enter the game with a mark of 4-0. Sammi Bignell is averaging 22.5 points per game, which is tops in the Frontier Conference. Kaci Matthies leads the Fronteir Conference shooting a gaudy 71.9% from the field. The Montana Western defense is allowing 50.50 points per game and their opponents are shooting 41 percent on the season.
Coach Woolley says “these games will be great indicators for us in the early part of the season.”