MISSOULA – The first place Montana Grizzlies have won 9 games in a row. And now they get to take on the team Griz fans like to beat the most.
Montana State comes to Missoula this Saturday for another rivalry showdown. Montana finished strong to hold off the Bobcats back in Bozeman last month. But MSU did score 78 points, the second most the Griz have given up in any conference game this season.
Montana State leads the league in scoring (82.1 points per game) and assist-to-turnover ratio (1.6), with veteran guards Tyler Hall (20.3) and Harald Frey (18.3) both in the top five in Big Sky points per game. The stingy Griz D knows they need another strong showing in Dahlberg Arena.
“They kind of like free wheel. They get to shoot whatever they want,” said guard/forward Sayeed Pridgett about defending the Cats guards. “That’s where most of their scoring comes from, Frey and Hall. So we just have to key in on those guys. I’m confident with how we guard. We turn our defense up a lot. Honestly, our ball screen defense, we kind of control what those guys are doing.”
“I think we match up well, but it’s your attention to detail,” explained head coach Travis DeCuire. “They distract you very well away from the ball when they run a ball screen. A lot of the things they do are random, and you can’t necessarily prepare when the ball goes here they’re going to do this. So your defensive rules and concepts are challenged.”
DeCuire is 14-3 all-time against the rival Bobcats, 6-2 as a player, 8-1 as a coach. Montana looks to keep their recent domination of the series going at 7:00 Saturday night.