The University of Montana Western men’s basketball team has been on the road for five straight games and finally come back to Straugh Gymnasium to play four in a row. The opponents this weekend are No. 16 ranked Rocky Mountain College on Friday and Dickinson State on Saturday.
Friday night’s game versus Rocky Mountain is the NAIA game of the week. The Bulldogs lost to RMC on Jan. 30 by a score of 73-83. The Battlin’ Bears are currently ranked ahead of UMW and are tied atop the Frontier Conference with a 7-3 record in conference play. On Saturday the Montana Western men take on Dickinson State who they played a week ago and won in North Dakota by a score of 86-75.
Rocky Mountain College is currently ranked No. 16 in the NAIA and are tied atop the Frontier Conference with a 7-3 conference record. The Battlin’ Bears are led by Tyree Anderson who is averaging better than 18 points a game. The 6’ 9” Joel Barndt is averaging just under nine rebounds a game and guard Sian Lane is dishing out better than 4.5 assists a game and leads the team with almost 1.5 thefts a game.
Dickinson State is currently 2-8 in conference play and come to town losing seven of their last eight games. The Blue Hawks are led by Tevin Russell who is averaging more than 16 points a game and is shooting 86 percent from the free-throw line. Mackenson Odenier is pulling in 5.6 rebounds a game and averaging nearly one block a game. Robbie Morey leads the team with 2.5 assists per game and 1.4 steals a game.
The Bulldogs are led by seniors Maazin Butler and Jake Owsley. Butler is averaging 14.62 points a game and 2.52 assits. Owsley is contributing 14.33 points a game while shooting better than 55 percent from the field and pulling down 7.33 boards a game. Last week versus RMC and DSU Butler poured in 20 and 22 points, while Owsley had 17 points and eight boards versus RMC and 11 points and eight rebounds versus DSU. Montana Western will need big games from Kris Castro who had six assists last time out, as well as Gabe Rucker who had 14 points. Jordan Overstreet has scored in double figures in three of the last four games and will be counted on this weekend as well.
The weekend’s games can be seen via UMW Webcast at http://www.livestream.com/westernbulldogs. Tip for Friday’s NAIA game of the week is set for 7:30 p.m. Saturday's tip-off will be at 4 p.m.