Griz suffer first conference loss of season

POSTED: 8:18 PM Feb 15 2013   UPDATED: 8:25 PM Feb 15 2013
Griz plasma
MISSOULA, Mont. -

Thursday night the Montana Grizzly basketball team suffered their only conference loss of the season as they fell to the Weber State Wildcats 87-63.

It was the second meeting between the Big Sky's top two teams, the Griz won the first meeting at home beating Weber State 76-74. But this time the Griz were on the road and the Wildcats had their home crowd behind them.

During the first half of Thursday's contest Weber State went into the half with a 20-point lead. Montana took the lead just once early in the game, but the Wildcats took back the lead and they never looked back. Weber State took a 21-11 lead with 8:22 to go until halftime, and the Wildcats would then lead by double-digits for the remainder of the game. The closest Montana could get in the second half was 17 points, but they never really threatened Weber State in the final 20 minutes of the game.

Senior guard Will Cherry and senior forward Mathias Ward led the Griz in scoring with 18 points each, and were UM's only double-figure scorers. Junior forward Spencer Coleman added 9 points. Griz junior guard-forward Kareem Jamar was held to a season-low 4 points and fouled out with 4:01 left to play.

Entering the contest Montana had a Big Sky record 25 game winning streak, but it was snapped by the only team to beat the Griz in conference play all of last season. The Griz had also won 11 road games in a row, two shy of the record set by Weber State. UM's loss also ended a 14-game winning streak by Montana, which had them tied for the second longest winning streak in the nation.

Montana now has just a one-game victory over Weber State in the league standings with five conference games left in the season. Next up for the Grizzlies will be another road game at Idaho State Thursday, Feb. 16.