MISSOULA, Mont. It was supposed to be a marquee matchup of Big Sky heavyweights.
Instead, Weber State and the University of Montana are each experiencing their share of struggles as they enter the second half of the season. Both teams, favored to win the conference in various preseason polls, have lost games they really wish they hadn't, and neither of them has a winning record coming into today's 2 p.m. tipoff.
Weber State, though, has found a little momentum winning three straight and sitting near the top of the conference standings and hopes that confidence translates into another road win. If it does, it'll break the .500 mark for the first time since its season-opening win over Utah State.
During their win streak, the Wildcats have seen their offense find new life after struggling against Big Ten, Mountain West and other difficult early season opponents.
Montana, which has as much talent as anybody in the Big Sky, has not been so lucky. The Grizzlies have a 7-10 record and are just 1-3 in the Big Sky after falling at home to Idaho State on Thursday.
WSU coach Randy Rahe, though, is expecting nothing short of a war as the rivals jockey for position in the standings.
"I am sure they are excited to be back home after having had to start out league play with three games on the road," Rahe said. "(Jordan) Hasquet and (Andrew) Strait are two of the best frontline players in the league."
Those two post players are averaging nearly 27 points combined and will give WSU defenders Arturas Valeika and Steve Panos all they can handle.
The Griz also have a talented tandem in the back court in Cameron Rundles and Matt Martin.
"Like Montana State, they can get you inside or out," Rahe said, "so everyone needs to be ready for us on defense anywhere on the floor."After this road swing today's game will be telecast on the Altitude network Weber State will return to the Dee Events Center for a three-game homestand beginning with Sacramento State (Wednesday) and league-leading Northern Arizona (Friday) with their eye on claiming the top spot in the standings.
Wildcats on the air
Weber State (8-8, 3-1) at Montana (7-10, 1-3)
Today, 2 p.m., Dalhberg Arena