Griz challenge ‘Cats on home court

By JARROD PLANT/Montana State News

Martin Breunig and the University of Montana basketball team will play at Brick Breeden Fieldhouse on Saturday, Jan. 30, in the famous Brawl of the Wild. The first place Grizzlies provides a challenge for two-win streak Montana State Bobcats as they hope to dominate the Big Sky Conference.

“I think he has been a monster no matter who they have played whether it is Boise State or in our league play or whatever; he’s been a consistent double-double guy, he walks around with a tremendous amount of confidence,” Bobcat Head Coach Brian Fish said of Breunig’s play.

The Bobcats will have to guard well against center Martin Breunig who averages 18.7 points per game and 9.2 rebounds.  The game plan will be to keep a fresh player on Breunig to make things tough for him in the paint, according to the Cat Chat podcast.

As Fish’s team enters the game on Saturday, the focus will be on defense. “We will work defensively on what we got to do or what gives us our best chance,” said Fish at Cat Chat. The defense has slipped slightly since last year, allowing approximately 8 more points a game to the opposing teams, according to ESPN.

Defense of Martin Breunig is a key to the Bobcats success more so than offense. “There wasn’t much more outside of spacing we could do offensively. Our offense has given us 78-80 points a game that’s certainly enough,” said Fish.

Bobcats have found more contributors on the offensive end, and the starting backcourt has become more dynamic with the introduction of freshman guard, Tyler Hall, who averages 18 points a game, and senior point guard, Marcus Colbert improving his scoring totals to 17 points per game, per ESPN.

The Bobcats came into the 2015-16 season with four returners and eight new players. Despite resetting the team, the Bobcats have improved over the off season, eclipsing their seven win campaign last year with nine wins with 10 games to go.

The Bobcats lost to the Grizzlies last year in Brick Breeden Fieldhouse, 70-54. The women’s team will play the first of a double-header at 2:05 p.m. The men’s team starting at 7:05 p.m.

– Edited by Natalie Walters

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