UMW News BureauThe University of Montana Western men’s and women’s basketball teams will open conference play on the road on Jan. 6 at Lewis-Clark State College before continuing the trip with games at Westminster College on Jan. 8. By Lowell Peterson and Brett Morehouse The University of Montana Western men’s and women’s basketball teams will open conference play on the road on Jan. 6 at Lewis-Clark State College before continuing the trip with games at Westminster College on Jan. 8. The Bulldog men’s team, ranked 22nd in NAIA Division I and sporting a 12-3 record, will play Lewis-Clark State (L-C State) on Thursday in their conference opener. The L-C State Warriors, who are 10-3 on the season, received 17 votes in the last NAIA rating poll, which puts them at 32nd. On Saturday Montana Western faces the sixth-ranked Westminster College Griffins. The Griffins opened the season with a team record 11 victories before losing two in a row. They enter conference play with a 12-2 record. The Lady Bulldogs, 4-8 on the season, open up against the Warriors at L-C State. The Warriors are tied for third in NAIA Division I and boast an impressive 14-1 record. On Saturday the Bulldogs face an equally tough Westminster squad, which is ranked 11th. The Griffins have a record of 13-3 on the year. Both Montana Western teams spent much of the pre-conference season playing on the road against tough competition, which should prepare them for the hostile environments they will face in their conference openers. The Bulldog men have three players scoring in double figures. Brandon Brown leads the way with 18.7 points per game. Cody Thueringer is averaging 15.3 and Tyler Hurley adds 11.5. The Montana Western women’s team, with six players averaging in double figures in their 12 games to date, has displayed great scoring balance. The scoring leaders are as follows: Chloe Mosey (12.8), Roxie Thurman (11.7), Nicole Tams (11.4), Hayley Pettit (11.0 in just 3 games), Sammi Bignell (11.0) and Laura Geis (10.3). Junior Nicole Tams and senior Chloe Mosey, recent Frontier Conference Player of the Week winners, hope to lead a young Bulldog roster into Frontier Conference contention in 2011. On Thursday at the L-C State gym in Lewiston, Idaho, the women’s game will be played at 7 p.m. with the men’s game to follow at 9 p.m. Saturday’s games on the Westminster campus in Salt Lake City, Utah will feature the women at 5:30 p.m. followed by the men at 7:30 p.m. All times are Mountain Standard Time. Both games can be watched live by going to the Montana Western athletics website and selecting the Watch Live link.