*** ARTICLE COURTESY OF GRIZZLY ATHLETIC DEPT.
The Big Sky Conference has selected The University of Montana's Mathias Ward and Weber State's Jordan Richardson as its basketball co-Players of the Week for games played Dec. 17-23, the league announced today (Monday, Dec. 24).
Ward, a 6-7 senior forward from Gig Harbor, Wash., averaged 14.0 points, 5.5 rebounds and 1.5 assists as the Grizzlies registered road wins over Northern Arizona (62-56) and Sacramento State (61-60). In the two games, Ward shot .667 percent from the floor (10-of-15) and was 7-of-8 from the line.
Ward scored 12 points with six rebounds, two assists and had a block in the win at NAU on Dec. 19, and he gave the Grizzlies the lead for good with a 3-pointer with 4:44 left to play. He netted 16 points along with five rebounds and an assists in Montana's win over the Hornets on Dec. 21. He was 6-of-6 from the free-throw line, hitting all four of his attempts in the final 1:07 to help UM win its seventh straight league road game.
Ward, who was also named the Big Sky's "POW" earlier this season (Nov. 27), is ranked fourth (tie) in the conference in scoring at 14.7 points a game. He's also ranked among the league leaders in field goal percentage (fifth, 55.0%) and in free throw percentage (13th, 77.8%).
Richardson, a 6-1 junior guard from Lewisville, Texas, averaged 14.5 points, four assists, two rebounds and a steal in road wins over Eastern Washington (74-53) and Portland State (73-69, OT). He leads the Big Sky in 3-point field-goal percentage at 55.9 percent and in assist to turnover ratio at 3.2.