The University of Montana Western men’s basketball team will open their post-season journey at home this Friday at 7 p.m. versus Lewis-Clark State College. The Bulldogs finished their regular season conference schedule with a 9-7 record and a fourth place finish. The Warriors finished 8-7 and in fifth place in the conference.
Montana Western finished with a 16-11 overall record, and a 9-7 Frontier Conference record. The Bulldogs are led by seniors Jake Owsley and Maazin Butler. Butler is averaging 15 points and nearly three assists a game, while Owsley has recorded a team leading six double-doubles including a 15 point and 11 rebound outing versus Lewis-Clark on Jan. 3. Jordan Overstreet, a key contributor off the bench, is the third UMW player averaging double figures in points with nearly 12 a game and has recorded 17 double figure scoring games this season. Senior Tyler Miller has scored in double figures four of the last six games.
The Warriors finished the season with a 21-9 overall record, and an 8-7 record in Frontier Conference play. In conference play LCSC went 6-2 at home, but were only 2-5 when they played on the road and traveled away from the Activity Center in Lewiston, Idaho. Lewis-Clark is led by E.J. Farris’ 21 points a game. Brady Bagby is leading the team by pulling down almost five rebounds a game.
The Bulldogs split their games versus Lewis-Clark this season. UMW won a thriller on Jan. 3 with a 74-71 win over the Warriors. In that game Maazin Butler dropped 18 points and Jake Owsley had one of his six double-doubles with 15 points and 11 rebounds. Shyke Smalls came off the bench and was a spark on both ends of the court adding ten points of his own. LCSC was led by Farris who scored 18 points and Bagby added 15.
In the second match-up the Warriors road a 42-20 half-time lead to an 83-67 win in the season finale last weekend. The Bulldogs missed all ten of their three-point attempts in the first half going zero-for-10 while the Warriors hit on a 47 percent clip making 9-of-19. The Bulldogs went 9-for-33 from the field in the first half. UMW shot better in the second half going 10-of-18 from behind the arc and going 15-for-29 for 52 percent overall in the second half. Even with the better shooting, however, the Bulldogs were unable to overcome the half-time deficit.
The game tips off at 7 p.m. on Friday Feb. 28 in Straugh Gymnasium. The winner advances to play next week in the tournament semi-finals while the loser must look to next year. The game can be seen via Montana Western webcast at http://www.livestream.com/westernbulldogs.