Eastern Washington Eagles (20-13) at Montana Grizzlies (25-7)
College Basketball: Saturday, March 10, 2018 at 8:00 pm (Reno Events Center)
The Line: Montana Grizzlies -3 -- Over/Under: 143 Click to Get Latest Betting Odds
The Eastern Washington Eagles and Montana Grizzlies will square off at the Reno Events Center this Saturday night in the finals of the Big Sky Men’s Championship.
The 3-seed Eastern Washington Eagles improved to 20-13 (13-5 Big Sky) on the season after defeating the 10-seed Southern Utah Thunderbirds, 82-70, last night. Eastern Washington dominated Southern Utah on the offensive end of the court and had no trouble pulling away after taking a 62-45 lead with 11:16 left in regulation. Eastern Washington shot 64.6% from the field and 66.7% (4-6) from beyond the arc in the victory. Leading the way for the Eagles was Bogdan Bliznyuk who had 32 points and 4 rebounds. On the season, Eastern Washington is averaging 75.2 ppg on 46.4% shooting from the field. The Eagles are averaging 9.1 three-pointers per game on 37.9% shooting from beyond the arc. Offensively, Eastern Washington has been led by Bogdan Bliznyuk (20.8 ppg, 6.9 rpg, 4.1 apg), Jesse Hunt (8.2 ppg, 6.0 rpg, 1.2 apg), Mason Peatling (7.5 ppg, 5.9 rpg, 1.3 bpg), and Jack Perry (7.0 ppg, 2.0 rpg, 2.6 apg). Defensively, Eastern Washington is allowing their opponents to average 71.3 ppg on 43.7% shooting from the field. The Eagles have a rebound margin of 0.2 and a turnover margin of 0.0.
The top-seeded Montana Grizzlies improved to 25-7 (16-2 Big Sky) on the season after defeating the 5-seed Northern Colorado Bears, 91-89 in OT, last night. In a tight back and forth game, Montana fought back from a 6-point deficit with just over a minute left in regulation to force overtime and pulled away early in overtime after taking an 89-84 lead with 2:20 remaining. Montana won shot 47.9% from the field while allowed Northern Colorado to shoot 55.9% from the field and 63.6% (7-11) from beyond the arc in the win. Leading the way for the Grizzlies was Michael Oguine who had 19 points, 9 rebounds, 1 assist, and 3 steals. On the season, Montana is averaging 77.6 ppg on 46.8% shooting from the field. The Grizzlies are averaging 5.6 three-pointers per game on 33.9% shooting from beyond the arc. Offensively, Montana has been led by Ahmaad Rorie (17.3ppg, 3.9 rpg, 3.7 apg, 1.3 spg), Michael Oguine (15.5 ppg, 5.5 rpg, 2.0 apg, 1.4 spg), Jamar Akoh (13.3 ppg, 6.7 rpg, 1.1 apg), and Bobby Morehead (7.4 ppg, 5.0 rpg, 1.2 apg, 1.3 spg). Defensively, Montana is holding their opponents to an average of 68.2 ppg on 42.4% shooting from the field. The Grizzlies have a rebound margin of 5.1 and a turnover margin of 2.9.
The Eagles are 6-0 ATS in their last 6 games overall and 15-5 ATS in their last 20 neutral site games. The Grizzlies are 8-2 ATS in their last 10 games vs. a team with a winning straight up record however, just 2-6 ATS in their last 8 games overall.
Eastern Washington defeated Montana in their only matchup this season as the Eagles won by a 74-65 margin at home in mid-February.
Eastern Washington has won 8 straight games and has been led by their offense this season as the Eagles rank 139th in scoring offense, 94th in FG%, 52nd in 3P-FG%, and 26th in FT%. Montana has won 4 consecutive games and has been solid on both sides of the court as the Grizzlies currently rank 77th in scoring offense and 70th in scoring defense. Montana has been the best team in the conference throughout the season, however, the Eagles are one of the teams that gave Montana trouble this season and as I think the Eagles offense will be able to do enough in this one to keep it close, I’m taking Eastern Washington and the points.