Montana Grizzlies (20-5) at Eastern Washington Eagles (12-13)
|Date & Time||Thursday February 15, 2018, 9:05 PM (EST)|
The Line: Eastern Washington Eagles +2 -- Over/Under: 138.5
The Montana Grizzlies will travel to Reese Court to take on the Eastern Washington Eagles this Thursday night in College Basketball action.
The Montana Grizzlies won their 13th straight game and improved to 20-5 (13-0 Big Sky) on the season after defeating the Sacramento State Hornets, 71-69 in OT, this past Saturday. Montana closed out the final 2:21 of regulation to force overtime and avoided their first conference loss of the season after the Grizzlies, Michael Oguine, put the game away by hitting a FT that put the Grizzlies up by a 4-point margin with just 0:07 seconds left remaining in OT. Montana pulled out the victory despite allowing Sacramento State to shoot 43.1% from the field and 61.5% (8-13) from beyond the arc. Leading the way for the Grizzlies was Michael Oguine who had 25 points, 7 rebounds, and 4 assists. On the season, Montana is averaging 77.6 ppg on 46.4% shooting from the field. The Grizzlies are averaging 5.6 three-pointers per game on 33.7% shooting from beyond the arc. Offensviely, Montana has been led by Ahmaad Rorie (17.2 ppg, 3.8 rpg, 3.5 apg, 1.4 spg), Michael Oguine (15.6 ppg, 5.1 rpg, 1.9 apg, 1.5 spg), Jamar Akoh (14.3 ppg, 7.1 rpg, 1.2 apg), and Bobby Moorehead (8.0 ppg, 5.2 rpg, 1.2 apg, 1.2 spg). Defensively, Montana is holding their opponents to an average of 68.0 ppg on 41.7% shooting from the field. The Grizzlies have a rebound margin of 4.2 and a turnover margin of 3.6.
The Eastern Washington Eagles lost their 2nd consecutive game and dropped to 12-13 (7-5 Big Sky) on the season after being defeated by the Idaho Vandals, 66-64, this past Friday. In a tight back and forth game, Eastern Washington had a chance to tie it late to force overtime, however, the Eagles Bogdan Bliznyuk had his game-tying attempt blocked in the closing seconds which allowed the Vandals to basically run out the clock. Eastern Washington shot just 40.7% from the field and 35.0 (7-20) from beyond the arc in the loss. Leading the way for the Eagles was Bogdan Bliznyuk who had a double-double with 16 points, 13 rebounds, and 3 assists. On the season, Eastern Washington is averaging 74.5 ppg on 45.0% shooting from the field. The Eagles are averaging 8.8 three-pointers per game on 36.3% shooting from beyond the arc. Offensviely, Eastern Washington has been led by Bogdan Bliznyuk (19.9 ppg, 6.7 rpg, 3.8 apg), Jesse Hunt (9.1 ppg, 6.6 rpg, 1.3 apg), Cody Benzel (7.4 ppg, 1.3 rpg), and Ty Gibson (7.0 ppg, 2.4 rpg, 1.2 apg). Defensively, Eastern Washington is allowing their opponents to average 72.3 ppg on 36.3% shooting from the field. The Eagles have a rebound margin of -0.4 and a turnover margin of 0.0. The Eagles will be without Jesse Hunt who is out indefinitely due to a foot injury suffered in early February.
The Grizzlies are 8-1 ATS in their last 9 road games and 12-3-1 ATS in their last 16 games vs. Big Sky opponents. The Eagles are 6-1 ATS in their last 7 games following a straight up loss and 5-2 ATS in their last 7 home games.
Montana is the team to beat in the Big Sky this season and has been outstanding on both ends of the court as they currently rank 83rd in scoring offense, 71st in scoring defense, and 57th in rebound margin. Eastern Washington has won 4 of their last 7 games and has been a balanced team this season that ranks T-163rd in scoring offense and 172nd in scoring defense. Eastern Washington is an impressive 7-1 at home this season, however, Montana should have a big advantage in the post in this one and as the Grizzlies are just the better team on both ends of the court, I think Montana does enough to cover this small road spread. Take Montana to cover.