It was a slow week for the Montana State and University of Montana programs, as they went through finals week, on both campuses. The two men’s programs swept all three of their games, while the women’s programs each their only games of the week. It should be noted, though that while the men had the advantage of playing their games on their home courts the women were on the road for their games.
I am not sure who to give the week to, but it definitely goes to the men. The Griz got two victories one of those was against Montana State – Northern. The Bobcats got a very nice win against UC Santa Barbara which I think is a little bit better than the UC Riverside team the Griz got their second win against. Quality versus quantity? It is kind of splitting hairs so I will give the week to both of them.
Bobcat Men: The bobcats managed a 12 point home win against, a traditionally good Cal. State Santa Barbara team Friday. What I liked about this win for the Cats is that they started out cold, but kept up the defensive pressure until they could find their shot. UCSB came out and played an aggressive zone, against the Bobcat and challenged them to hit their shots. This is the book on how to defend and beat the Bobcats under Huse, and we will see this, a lot come conference (especially from the Griz). It took the Bobcats most of the first half but they the answer and pretty well made the zone a non-factor in the second half.
Grizzly men: The Grizzly’s had a 14 point victory over Montana State – Northern. But did not look overly impressive in do so. While Qvale did have his way with MSU-N the rest of the team looked a little lethargic on the offensive side of the ball. Tinkle was concerned that he decided to change the line a little bit for Riverside and he changed up the line up a bit. Young was inserted into the line up in place of Cherry and the Griz came away with a win. I am not sure if it helped in this particular game but I think the Griz do need to get Young in the starting line up and cut him loose a little. If I may make another suggestion, Taylor over Staudacher. Taylor is not the outside shooter that Staudacher is but he is close and he is also a much better rounded player.
Lady Griz: The Lady Griz traveled to Portland Oregon to take on the University of Portland this past week and came away with lose. The Lady Griz played Portland tough most of the game even holding a 1 point lead at half time but in the end Portland was able to secure the win late with some good three point shooting. Portland should almost be considered a Big Sky honorary member this season because by the time Conference starts they will have played well over half of the BSC members. So far eastern Washington is the only Big Sky team to beat them.
The Bobcats went into Denver and got their butts handed to them by Denver. The Bobcats shot only 30% from the field and that was all she wrote. Katie Bussey who is from the Denver area had a particularly awful night going 0-9 from the field. It is amazing how returning home for some players can actually bring out the best of worse in some player, and it looked like Nerves got the best of Bussey. Don’t get me wrong Denver is a very good team but the Cat’s should have made a better showing than they did.