Last week was not as good to the Montana team’s as the previous week as they only racked up two wins in six games. I would have to say that the Bobcat Women had the best week of the four programs going 1-1 to push their record to 3-1 for the season although with all 3 wins coming on the road. The Bobcat men also went 101 for the past week and were a lot closer to going 2-0 than their Women counter part but the men’s single win came at home against a D-2 team, while the Women chaulked up a road win against a d-1 team. I am giving the week to the Bobcat Women.
Bobcat Women: The Bobcat Women open up their home portion of their schedule with a 54-79 point loss to a pretty good Brigham Young team. The Bobcats got behind early and never seemed to be much of a threat to BYU from their out as BYU steadily increased their lead. The Bobcats shot 31% from the field from the game much due to BYU’s defense. The Bobcats followed that up with a 70-58 road win over an Idaho team that was picked to finish 4th in the WAC conference this season. The Cats had a 24 point lead late in the second half, but let Idaho get it under 10 points before pulling out the 12 point win. Looks like the Bobcat women need to fine tune a few things still.
Bobcat Men: The Bobcat Men also managed a 1-1 record this week to bring them to 1-2 on the season. The Bobcat men were again playing without projected their starting guards Bynum and Navarre. The Bobcats got their first win of the season against a very good D-2 Colorado Christian 68-58. A same Colorado Christian team, which lost, to League Favorite Weber State by 11 points last week. The Bobcat second game was a home loss to what I thought was a pretty good Southern Mississippi team. The shorthanded Bobcats held a slight lead most of the game and even had it in double digits at one point in the second half, before S. Miss started to hit their stride, and pulled out a 66-62 win. My gut feeling going into this game was with out Bynum and Navarre, S. Miss might blow this game out early so I was pretty happy with the first 30 minutes of the Game. The Big question now comes with Bynum and Navarre scheduled to return to the court this week against San Francisco, will their presence be a boost to the Bobcats or as sometimes happen will their addition mess with the existing chemistry. It could take a few games to find out.
Lady Griz: The Lady Griz lost their only game of the week 86-81at home against an U. of Oregon team that was picked to finish 7th in the Pac-10 this season. The Lady Griz played Oregon very tough and even had a slight lead in the second half, but Oregon’s inside presence took over late in the game. The Lady Griz did have their go to player Sarah Ena back, in the line up after missing the past two games due to injury, and she once again played a great game. Aside from Laura Beck the other Griz player who is really starting to come into her own as the foundation of this team is Laura Stender. The freshmen show lost of potential but are not that consistent. Beck, Ena, and Stender are the ones that will need to do it every night and hope for help from one or two of the freshman.
Grizzly Men: After going 3-0 and looking like conference contenders the Griz took a small stumble this week, losing 49-56 to the U. of Denver. Denver is a team that is building it’s talent base, so it is not, a terribly embarrassing loss especially for the Griz’s first road game of the season, but the Griz will need to be able to pull off a couple road wins in the Big Sky conference against teams of similar talent this year if they hope to be a contender for the conference crown. As the score would indicate the Griz were in the game at the end, and actually out scored and played Denver in the second half, but they could not over come the whole they dug for themselves in the first half. Right now as Anthony Johnson goes so do the Griz. Johnson is not getting a lot of support from the rest of the team. Young (my choice), McGillis and / or Staudacher need to step up to the plate and provide some relief or Johnson is going to find himself a marked man. Qvale also had an outstanding game.