MISSOULA -- The Montana Lady Griz started Big Sky Conference play last week by picking up road wins against Northern Arizona and Sacramento State to pick up some momentum heading into 2020. Montana now returns home on Thursday night to take on Southern Utah. The Thunderbirds are coming off their first conference game, where they took down Portland State on Monday.
Last season the Lady Griz started 3-0 before going 0-3 in their following three games. While Montana is shifting its focus to its first two home conference games, head coach Shannon Schweyen knows road wins can go a long way in the Big Sky.
"Road wins are huge in this league. In the last couple years in the women's side it's been tight all the way through. Lots of teams jumping up and beating everybody and a lot of parity," said Schweyen. "So getting road wins is extra special. Now we need to take care of business at home and make sure we are ready to go. Obviously, it's a lot of games in just a few days, but we're going to find some positive things in that. We are playing some good basketball right now and excited to get back here and get rolling."
And the games don't get much easier on this two-game home stretch. To start, Southern Utah features a four-year starting point guard in Rebecca Cardenas, who is coming into the game averaging 18.4 points per game. Not only is Cardenas solid, but the other four starters are, as well. All saw success at the end of last season.
"They have a good supporting cast. They finished on a high note last year knocking off some good teams. They have a lot of experience back on their team. They are good defensively. They had the best non-conference record coming into the conference this year, so looking for a tough game with them," said Schweyen.
The Lady Griz (2-0 conference) take on Southern Utah (1-0) at 7 p.m. Thursday in Dahlberg Arena.