Montana Hosts Big Sky Championship Tourneys

By Beacon Staff

The University of Montana is hosting both the men’s and women’s Big Sky Conference basketball tournaments this week.

The seven-team women’s tournament will open Wednesday afternoon at Dahlberg Arena in Missoula. Three quarterfinal games will be played Wednesday, two semifinal games Friday and the championship game Saturday.

The seven-team men’s tournament begins Thursday afternoon and ends Saturday with the championship game. The winners secure automatic bids to the NCAA championship tournaments.

The Griz clinched their second straight Big Sky Conference outright championship last Saturday night, downing Northern Arizona 63-50 to finish 19-1 in conference and 24-5 overall.

As the No. 1 seed, Montana gets a bye to the semifinals, which will be played on Friday.

In first-round games on Thursday, No. 7 seed Northern Arizona (11-20) will play No. 2 seed Weber State (24-5) at 3 p.m. At 5:30 p.m., No. 6 seed Southern Utah (11-19) takes on No. 3 North Dakota (15-15). In the third first-round game at 8 p.m., No. 5 Northern Colorado will play No. 4 Montana State.

Montana will play the lowest remaining seed from Thursday’s games.

Lady Griz senior Katie Baker matched her career high with 26 points to lead Montana to a 59-51 victory over Northern Arizona last week, and the Big Sky Conference regular-season title. The Lady Griz earn a first-round bye.

In Wednesday’s quarterfinal games, No. 2 Northern Colorado will play No. 7 Southern Utah at 3 p.m., No. 3 Eastern Washington will meet No. 6 Montana State at 5:30 p.m., and No. 4 Idaho State will face No. 5 Sacramento State at 8 p.m.

No. 1-seed Montana will face the lowest remaining seed at 1:30 p.m. on Thursday. Saturday’s championship game will be played at 2 p.m.

The Adams Center ticket office is open 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

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