Bad news coming out of Montana today as it seems that the Grizzlies leading scorer may miss some time.
Matthias Ward, who averages 14.8 points this season, apparently injured his foot in a win against Idaho State.
On a Tuesday radio show, head coach Wayne Tinkle said that Ward will be undergoing tests to determine the severity of the injury and the length of time that he’ll be out.
This is a big deal for Montana, who currently sits at 15-1 in the Big Sky and has become one of the most dangerous mid-major programs in the country.
Big Sky Basketball explains:
Ward is Montana’s leading scorer at 14.8 PPG, and he is perhaps the best mid-range jump shooter in the Big Sky. But that is only part of the point. The larger point is that Montana is already painfully thin in the frontcourt. Ward itself isn’t really a true big man (he is not a very good rebounder), but there other best options upfront are Mike Weisner and Spencer Coleman, who are probably better suited to play the three.
If Ward is out awhile, such as for next week’s road games or even longer, Montana could be in trouble. Without Ward, they will likely play even smaller, with guys likeSpencer Coleman or Mike Weisner playing some at the five, along with four guards. They won’t really have a choice.
Bottom line, this could be a game changer at the end of the Big Sky season.
That’s not good.
You can find Rob on twitter @RobDauster.
Monmouth used a 17-2 run in the final minutes to beat Rider on Friday night, a win that will keep the Hawks within striking distance of the kind of an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament should they fall in the MAAC tourney.
The run was capped by star point guard Justin Robinson, who buried this three with three seconds left to put Monmouth up for good, 79-78:
Allonzo Trier scored 15 of his 18 points in the second half and Parker Jackson-Cartwright scored 16 points in his second career start as No. 17 Arizona knocked off UCLA, 81-75, in Tucson on Friday night.
UCLA was up by as much as 11 points in the first half and took a ten point lead into half time, but in the second half, the Bruins were eventually done in by foul trouble and the stronger front line of the Wildcats.
Ryan Anderson and Kaleb Tarczewski were dominant down the stretch. The duo combined to score 12 of the last 23 point for the Wildcats, including the bucket that put the Wildcats ahead for the first time since early in the first half. Off of a missed free throw, UCLA’s Thomas Welsh battled with Tarczewski for the rebound, but when Welsh finally seemed to gain control of the loose ball, Anderson knocked it out of his hands and bullied through Jonah Bolden for a layup.
All told, those two combined for 20 points and 27 boards, seven of which were offensive. They also managed to foul out both Welsh and Tony Parker, although some of the calls that went against UCLA down the stretch were questionable.
The win keeps Arizona within a game of first place Oregon in the Pac-12 standings and tied for second with No. 23 USC, who will be visiting the McKale Center on Sunday night.