MISSOULA — The Montana Grizzlies have had a shiny home-court record under Travis DeCuire at Dahlberg Arena.
But when the Griz face fellow bears? Not so much.
The Bears — Northern Colorado, that is — topped the Grizzlies 75-66 on Thursday evening in Missoula. For UNC, it's their fourth win in their last five games at Dahlberg Arena since 2018-19.
UNC beat Montana in Missoula that year, and again in 2019-20. The teams split their meetings in 2020-21 during the COVID-19 affected season that saw teams play two games in three days in the same location against each other.
On Thursday, the Bears found success again. Daylen Kountz led the way for UNC with 29 points while Matt Johnson added 20 as three players scored in double figures for Northern Colorado. Kur Jongkuch added 12 points and 14 rebounds as UNC improved to 18-13 overall and 13-6 in Big Sky Conference play.
Robby Beasley III led UM (18-12, 11-8) with 15 points while Cameron Parker added 14 points. Josh Bannan finished with 12 points and nine rebounds.
The Bears sit at No. 3 in the conference standings ahead of No. 4 Southern Utah (19-10, 13-6). Montana State (23-7, 15-4) clinched the outright regular-season title with its win over Sacramento State while Weber State (20-10, 13-6) sits at No. 2.
With the loss, Montana is now locked into the No. 5 seed heading into the conference tournament in Boise, Idaho next week. The top five seeds earn a first-round bye at the conference tournament and the top five men's teams are all locked in for byes with seeding order the only change possible in the final regular season games on Saturday.
UM hosts Sac State (9-17, 5-14) to wrap up the regular season on Saturday.