Has the Montana men's basketball team got a Black Friday deal for you.
The Griz are hosting Coppin State of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference on Friday at 7 p.m. at Dahlberg Arena. General admission tickets will be offered at two for the price of one.
The Griz (2-4) are coming off of their first win this season against a Division I school, a 74-62 home win over Texas Southern on Monday. Montana found some scoring options other than senior Sayeed Pridgett in that game. Pridgett led the way with 19, but Kendal Manuel added 15, Timmy Falls had 11 and Derrick Carter-Hollinger and Josh Vazquez chipped in 10 apiece.
The Griz also clamped down on the defensive end, forcing 17 turnovers while holding the Tigers to 37% shooting.
A win against Coppin State could help the Griz gain some momentum heading into a game at 6-2 New Mexico on Sunday. The Lobos recently knocked off Wisconsin.
“It felt good, my question for our guys is how do we manage success,” DeCuire said after Monday's win. “Are we going to be as hungry going into Friday’s game as we were going into (Monday's) game. That’s the only way you create some momentum and build some sort of streak.”
Coppin State, out of Baltimore, brings in some momentum of its own. The Eagles are coming off wins over Cornell and James Madison. The Eagles have used the same starting lineup in all eight games and have three players who are playing more than 32 minutes a game.
Senior guard Kamar McKnight is the team's top scorer (14.9 points per game) while junior guard Dejuan Clayton is second (14.0). Clayton also has team highs for assists (29) and steals (20), and his steals-per-game average ranks 29th nationally.
Senior forward Andrew Robinson averages 13.1 points per game, while leading the Eagles in 3-pointers made (2.88 per game on .319 shooting). Just four players across the country have taken more 3-pointers than Robinson. He also ranks second on the team with 5.9 rebounds per game, just behind junior guard Koby Thomas' 6.1 average.
Nearly half (46.2 percent) of Coppin State's shot attempts are from beyond the arc. However, the Eagles are shooting just .278 from that distance. Overall, Coppin State is shooting at a .372 clip and is averaging just 70.4 points per game.
The Eagles have a plus-3.2 turnover margin, forcing opponents into 17.8 turnovers per game (42nd in NCAA).
One area of concern for the Griz might be the presence of Coppin's starting center Brendan Medley-Bacon, a 7-foot-1, 245-pound sophomore. Medley-Bacon has blocked 13 shots and grabs 5.4 rebounds a game.
This will mark the first time the Griz have faced Coppin State and only the second time Montana has played a team from the MEAC. Montana beat Florida A&M 83-77 in 1987 in Missoula.