The University of Montana Western men’s basketball team went on the road to play No. 19 Westminster in a Frontier Conference clash. The UMW men were one game back in the conference standings heading into the game, but after the big road win they find themselves tied with Great Falls and Westminster at the top of the Frontier Conference standings.
The game was a contest of streaks early on. The Westminster Griffins jumped out to a 10-5 lead with about six minutes off the clock. The Bulldogs responded with a 10-2 run of their own to take the lead that they would hold for the rest of the game. The game was tied 15-15 with just under nine minutes remaining in the opening half and then the Montana Western men went on a 13-5 run to take a 28-20 lead. The UMW men went into the half with a 35-26 lead.
In the second half the Bulldogs were able to withstand a couple runs by the Griffins. The latest run was an 18-6 run with under four minutes remaining in the contest. The UMW men were able to regroup and finish the game with a big road conference win.
The staunch Montana Western defense was able to hold the Griffins to 37.7 percent from the field and under 31 percent from behind the arc. Neither team lit it up from the charity stripe as Westminster went 11-18 for 61 percent while the Bulldogs were 7-11 for 63 percent. Montana Western shot well from the field as they were 29-51 for almost 57 percent and went 9-17 from behind the arc for 52.9 percent shooting.
Kurtis Parsons, who came up big in last weekends’ win over Carroll, was shooting well again. He led UMW with 16 points and went 4-6 (67 percent) from behind the arc and 6-8 (75 percent) overall. Maazin Butler and Tyler Miller each had 11 points. Butler also had six rebounds and five assists on the night. Connor Woodill and Shyke Smalls had strong nights adding 10 points and nine points, each coming off the bench. For the second game in a row the Bulldog bench contributed big as they outscored the Griffins bench by 26, scoring a total of 42 points for Coach Keller’s squad.
Westminster was led by Blake Skidmore’s 19 point night and also had nice contributions from Tallon Robertson who had 11 points. Robertson added a game high 14 rebounds and Nick Jenson had 12 boards of his own.
The Montana Western men hit the road again this week as they travel to Helena, Mont., to take on Carroll College on Friday night at 7:30 p.m. They will then travel to Great Falls to take on the Argos of UGF on Saturday night at 7:30 p.m. The game Saturday will pit two teams who are currently tied for the Frontier Conference lead.