North Dakota (4-5) is coming off an impressive performance in the Hilton Garden Inn FGCU Classic, where they strung together two second-half comebacks. On Friday, they'll travel to Montana to face a former conference foe.
The Grizzlies hold a significant edge over North Dakota on their home court. Montana has won 10 of the last 11 meetings in Missoula over the Fighting Hawks.
Friday's game takes place at the Dahlberg Arena with tip-off slated for 9 p.m. EST.
The Fighting Hawks are bouncing backAfter a slow start to the season, North Dakota has won three of its last four games. A big reason for this concerns their developing offense, led by Filip Rebraca who makes almost 63% of his shots.
The Fighting Hawks do many things well including driving to the paint to force fouls. On the season, they're 11th nationally in free throw percentage, making 80% of their shots. And they're fantastic inside, where they hold a rebounding advantage of + 6.9.
On Friday, they face a Montana defense that holds opponents to 68 points per game. The Fighting Hawks have to use their size in the paint to gain extra possessions, which should be a favorable matchup in this contest.
Defensively, the key to North Dakota's success rests in limiting Sayeed Pridgett. He leads the Grizzlies in scoring with 18.8 points per game. Given Montana averages only 63 points, limiting his scoring production could take away a significant part of Montana's offense.
Montana needs to establish playmakersThe Grizzlies' stellar defense has kept them in games, but their offense's inability to score consistently has hampered their success. On Friday, there are several weaknesses North Dakota presents that Montana must take advantage of.
The first is on the perimeter. The Fighting Hawks allow opponents to make 37% of their three-point attempts. For their part, Montana isn't the best three-point shooting team, but they do have players like Derek Carter-Hollinger who's shown the ability to knock down shots outside. They need them to come up strong on Friday.
Defensively, the Grizzlies must apply pressure on the ball. North Dakota commits 16 turnovers a game, so if Montana can play intense defense consistently well, it could lead to easier scoring opportunities.
North Dakota is:
- 6-0 ATS in their last 6 against opponents with a winning record of .400 or less
Trends found on Covers.com Montana is:
- 2-5 ATS in their last 7 games