Western men set to host Frontier semifinal

The Montana Western men’s basketball program will face Rocky Mountain College on Saturday in the Frontier Conference Semifinals. After finishing third in the conference standings, Rocky Mountain defeated Great Falls in the first round of the Frontier Conference Tournament to earn a rematch with the second ranked Bulldogs.

Montana Western sits in the No. 15 spot in this week’s NAIA Top 25 and Rocky Mountain earned votes but fell short earning a ranking. The home team earned a victory in each of the previous matchups between the Bulldogs and Bears this season. In January Montana Western earned a 74-71 win over Rocky Mountain in Straugh Gymnasium. A month later, the Bears lit up the scoreboard with a 100-86 victory in Billings, Mont. Both teams are now focused on advancing through the conference tournament to earn the automatic bid to the NAIA National Tournament.

“It’s Frontier Conference Tournament time, which means there are no easy games,” Bulldog head coach Steve Keller said. “Rocky has been playing as well as anybody, and I think it is going to be a great game.”

Game time is 7 p.m. at the Straugh Gymnasium on the campus of Montana Western. Tournament games are conducted by the Frontier Conference with only NAIA passes accepted and ticket prices of $10 for adults, $7 for seniors, $5 for students, and free admission for children age 5 and under.

Keller has the Bulldogs focused on doing the little things to stifle the Bears’ offense and grab the early momentum.

“We need to come out ready to play from the opening tip off and then play the way we have been playing at home,” Keller said.

Top-seeded Lewis-Clark State hosts fifth seeded MSU-Northern in Saturday’s other semifinal contest. The winner of the semifinal matchups will face off in the Frontier Conference Tournament Championship, to be held Tuesday on the home court of the highest remaining seed.

— Montana Western Sports Information