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Griz take over first place in Big Sky Conference

Published On: Jan 24 2013 11:08:46 PM MST
MBB
MISSOULA, Mont. -

The University of Montana Grizzlies remain unbeaten in Big Sky Conference play with a 70-51 victory over the Idaho State Bengals Thursday night. The Griz won their ninth consecutive conference game, and are now 13-4 overall. This was also Montana's 20th straight Big Sky victory dating back to last season.

Griz senior Mathias Ward had a game high 21 points, it was his fifth game of the season with 20 or more points, and he made 7-of-14 shots and was a perfect 7-of-7 from the line.

Griz Junior Spencer Coleman played a big role for Montana, Coleman scored 18 of his career-high 20 points in the second half.  For the game he was 8-of-9 from the field, 2-of-3 three-pointers and a pair of free throws.  Coleman, who did not start, had a previous career-high of 15 points against Eastern Washington at home earlier this month.

Montana had a hot shooting streak in the second half, they made 14-of-24 (58.3%) shots from the floor and finished the game 24-of-46 (52.2%) from the field 6-of-20 (30.0%) from three-point range. Idaho State struggled shooting the ball, they shot 17-of-44 (38.6%) from the floor, 5-of-13 (38.5%) from behind the arc. The Griz defense also held the Bengals to 5-of-23 (21.7%) shooting in the final 20 minutes. 

The Griz host the Weber State Wildcats on Saturday, Jan. 26, at 7:05 p.m. The Wildcats suffered their first conference loss of the season, losing 79-74 at Montana State Thursday night. With a win by Montana and a loss by Weber state the Griz now sit in first place in the Big Sky Conference standings.