Montana looks to sweep Southern Utah
Southern Utah (15-15, 8-11) vs. Montana (18-12, 14-5)
Dahlberg Arena, Missoula, Montana; Saturday, 9 p.m. EST
BOTTOM LINE: Montana goes for the season sweep over Southern Utah after winning the previous matchup in Cedar City. The teams last played on Jan. 2, when the Grizzlies outshot Southern Utah 41.4 percent to 39.2 percent and had six fewer turnovers en route to a two-point victory.
SAVVY VETERANS: Each of these teams has relied heavily on their seniors this year. Sayeed Pridgett, Kendal Manuel and Jared Samuelson have combined to score 59 percent of Montana’s points this season and 67 percent of the team’s points over its last five games. For Southern Utah, Cameron Oluyitan, John Knight III, Andre Adams and Dwayne Morgan have collectively accounted for 55 percent of all Southern Utah scoring, including 63 percent of the team’s points over its last five games.
FUELING THE OFFENSE: Pridgett has either made or assisted on 47 percent of all Montana field goals over the last five games. The senior guard has 42 field goals and 23 assists in those games.
COLD SPELL: Southern Utah has lost its last five road games, scoring 65.2 points, while allowing 75 per game.
ACCOUNTING FOR ASSISTS: The Thunderbirds have recently used assists to create baskets more often than the Grizzlies. Montana has an assist on 42 of 82 field goals (51.2 percent) across its previous three outings while Southern Utah has assists on 37 of 71 field goals (52.1 percent) during its past three games.
TENACIOUS THUNDERBIRDS: Southern Utah has held opposing teams to 39.6 percent shooting, the lowest percentage among all Big Sky teams.