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Bulldog men's basketball wins in Idaho

UMW News Bureau

The University of Montana Western’s 84-61 victory completed the trifecta against The College of Idaho at the Northwest Nazarene University Holiday Classic at the Johnson Sports Center on the Northwest Nazarene campus. By Lowell Peterson The University of Montana Western’s 84-61 victory completed the trifecta against The College of Idaho at the Northwest Nazarene University Holiday Classic at the Johnson Sports Center on the Northwest Nazarene campus. Playing the Coyotes for the third time this season, the Bulldogs completed the sweep giving them victories at three venues. The Bulldogs had earlier defeated The College of Idaho at home on the Coyotes court. The most recent victory gave the Bulldogs a win at a neutral site. It was an even back-and-forth battle for the first part of the opening half. Montana Western’s biggest lead was four points; CI’s biggest lead was two and the score read 15-14 in favor of the Bulldogs at the 11:27 mark before they took control of the game. Montana Western went on a 26-5 run to jump out to a 22-point lead with 2:50 remaining in the first period. The Coyotes would score the last eight points to stay within striking distance as the first half ended with the Bulldogs on top 41-27. The College of Idaho’s Steve Peres opened the second half with a three-pointer to pull his team to within eleven at 41-30. That would be as close as the Coyotes would get in the game. The Bulldogs went on an 11-2 run to build the lead back up to 20 points at 52-32 with 14:54 remaining. Five players scored in double figures for UMW. Cody Thueringer scored 13 of his game high 21 points in the first half, hitting on four of seven three point shots. Thueringer also had six rebounds and four assists. Brandon Brown and Mark Lussier each scored 18 points. Brown hit three of seven three-pointers and had a game high five assists. Lussier was almost perfect from long distance, knocking down five of six threes in his career-high scoring game for the Bulldogs. Kyle Perry scored 12 points and pulled down a game high eight rebounds while blocking two shots. Tyler Hurley finished with 10 points, making four of his five field goal attempts. The Bulldogs shot the ball extremely well for the entire game going 30-54 or 55.6 percent from the field; 10-1376.9 percent) from the free throw line; and an impressive 14-26 (53.8 percent) from behind the three-point line. Their solid defense held the Coyotes to 24-60 (40 percent) from the field and 5-17 (29.4 percent) from the three-point line. The Coyotes made 8-13 free throws at 61.5 percent. The solid shooting upped the Bulldogs total made three-point field goals to 112 on the season. They are third behind Pikeville College and Mountain State University, the leaders with 114. Montana Western is shooting 40.6 percent from long distance at 112-276, ranking them 7th in the NAIA Division I. They rank 23rd in overall field goal percentage at 47.6 percent. Good passing and team play has the Bulldogs tied for 19th in assists per game at 16.33. Only two players scored in double figures for the Coyotes. Matt Ballanger had 14 points and Tyler Young came off the bench to score 12. Young also grabbed six rebounds. The 22nd ranked Bulldogs upped their record to 9-3 on the season. The College of Idaho dropped to 4-9. Montana Western will complete the non-conference portion of their season with three games back in Montana, which will be their first games in their home state since Oct. 30. The Bulldogs play Concordia University of Canada on Friday, Dec. 17 at Carroll College at 3 p.m. before returning home for games against Minot State University on Dec. 18 and King’s University on Dec. 20.