MISSOULA – On the men’s court, the Montana Grizzlies have dominated the Montana State Bobcats recently, winning 15 of the past 16 clashes. And now for the first time ever, Montana leads the all-time series 149-148.
To keep it rolling, UM will turn to its defense that has returned to top form during a four-game winning streak. Cats star Tyler Hall became the Big Sky Conference’s all-time leading scorer a couple weeks ago. Griz head coach Travis DeCuire is OK with Hall leading MSU in the box score, but the Griz need to make him work for it.
“Guys like him, we’ve been seeing these guys about every game, they’re going to get their points,” said DeCuire. “And the key for us is to make sure he takes a lot of shots to get to those. They are coached that they have the green light. Go get 20 (points), however you can get it. Some nights he’ll do it in 15 shots. Sometimes he’ll do it in 25 shots. We need it to be a 25-shot night.”
Hall only scored 21 combined points in two losses to the Grizzlies last year.
DeCuire is 13-3 all-time against the Cats, 6-2 as a player and 7-1 as a coach. And he appreciates the rivalry.
“It’s a little more fun than your average game,” he admitted. “And that’s the environment, right? It’s the text messages I get leading up to the game. It’s the feeling you have when you step on the floor and the crowd goes crazy. And the fact that I know I won’t have a voice the next day.”
The Grizzlies and Bobcats tipoff at 7 p.m. Saturday night in Dahlberg Arena.