Griz vs. North Dakota 16 (copy)

Montana's Kendal Manuel, right, drives the ball against North Dakota's Brady Danielson.

MISSOULA — Following a blistering performance during a two-game road trip, Montana's Kendal Manuel has been named Big Sky Conference men's basketball player of the week.

The award is a first for Manuel, a senior from Billings.

It is the second-straight week a Montana men's basketball player has been named player of the week. Senior Sayeed Pridgett nabbed the award a week ago.

It is the first time the Grizzlies have taken the weekly award back-to-back since Pridgett won the week of Feb. 12 and Feb. 19 last season.

Montana split its road trip, hanging on for a 60-58 win over Southern Utah before falling two days later by eight points to Northern Colorado in Greeley. Manuel was keyed in, shooting 19 of 30 from the field over the two games, including 13 of 16 against the Bears.

Manuel finished with 30 points, a career-high, against Northern Colorado. The Skyview product had 17 points and six rebounds in the win over Southern Utah.

Manuel transferred in from Oregon State prior to last season and immediately made his presence in the league felt. A strong season ended with Manuel being named the Big Sky Newcomer of the Year and Top Reserve.

A slow shooting start to season has hampered Manuel as he as adjusted to a larger role in the offense, but his performance over the past week could be a sign of things to come.

Manuel currently ranks third in conference play in scoring, fourth for 3-points made, No. 11 in steals and is the only Big Sky player to score 30 points in a league game this season.

Portland State's Jordan Stotler was named the Big Sky women's basketball player for the week. The senior averaged 10 points and 10 rebounds while averaging five assists and 3.5 blocks per game.

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Jordan Hansen covers a bunch of stuff for the Missoulian and 406 Sports. Shout at him on Twitter @jordyhansen or shoot him an email at Jordan.Hansen@406mtsports.com

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