The University of Montana Western women’s basketball team will play their second straight weekend at home when they host MSU-Northern and the University of Great Falls. Both games are Frontier Conference contests and have direct implications on the Frontier Conference tournament in two weeks. The top two seeds receive byes the first round, while the third and fourth seeds host first round games.
On Thursday the Bulldogs host the Skylights for their second matchup of the season. MSU-Northern is currently one game ahead of UMW for third place in the conference. On Jan. 9 UMW traveled to Havre and lost 43-66. Since that defeat the Montana Western squad has gone 6-2 and are currently riding a five game win streak. In the last meeting MSU-Northern was led by A’Jha Edwards who scored ten points and grabbed 21 rebounds. Rachelle Bennett had a game high 14 points and Kassie Barta had 12 points for the Skylights. The Bulldogs were led by Sammi Bignell who had 12 points and was the only UMW player in double figures. McCall Hasquet had nine points in the earlier contest against the Skylights. Montana Western shot below 54 percent (7-for-13)from the free-throw line, while MSU-Northern went 16-for21.
“This week presents us a great opportunity to see how much we have improved,” said Bulldog head coach Lindsay Woolley. “MSUN is a team that handled us on their home court and presents a huge challenge trying to guard their big kid. They are one of the better defensive teams in the league so we will have to do a great job executing.”
On Saturday the Argos from Great Falls come to town to try and avenge an 80-59 loss at the hands of the Bulldogs on Jan. 25. UGF is 4-8 in the conference, but are coming off two big wins. A 20 point win on Feb. 7over Lewis-Clark and a 22 point victory over Montana Tech on the Feb. 8. The Argos were led by Lindsay Abramson in the last meeting as she scored a game high 18 points. Darah Huertas-Vining scored 14 points and Erin Legel had 10. Montana Western had five players score in double digits in the first contest. The Bulldogs were led by Kaci Matthies who had 13 points, grabbing 13 rebounds, and going 7-for-8 from the charity stripe. Melody McCloud had a team high 16 points and Jenna Banks added 14 points, 4 assists while making all seven of her free-throw attempts. McCall Hasquet and Sammi Bignell had 12 and 10 points respectfully.
“UGF is playing really well after winning handily over LCSC and MT Tech last weekend,” said Coach Woolley. “They have a great inside/out combo with Legal and Abrahamson and they are a team that can really get going offensively. We are gonna have our hands full in both matchups.”
Thursday night’s game is Military Appreciation night and all current and former military personnel receive free admission to the game. The game will also be a “black out” game and fans are encouraged to wear black clothing. On Saturday the Bulldogs will honor their seniors for Senior Night. The game will also serve as the “Pink Zone” game. The games can be seen online via UMW Webcast at http://www.livestream.com/westernbulldogs.