MISSOULA -- Montana and Northern Colorado will square off for the Big Sky Conference women's basketball championship Saturday at 2 p.m.
The Lady Griz (23-8) are in the league's tournament championship game for the 20th time in 27 years after slipping by Eastern Washington 55-51 Friday.
The Bears (20-11) will be competing in the championship game for the second time in three seasons after a stirring 81-79 overtime victory against Sacramento State earlier in the day. It was the 10th straight win for UNC.
Two years ago at Dahlberg Arena, the Lady Griz defeated Northern Colorado 56-43 for the Big Sky title.
Kayleigh Valley, McCalle Feller and Kellie Rubel each scored 12 points for the Lady Griz as Montana withstood a second-half rally by EWU. Rubel also dished outfive assists and was 3 of 5 from beyond the 3-point arc.
Last month at Dahlberg Arena, Montana and Northern Colorado played a classic. The Bears rallied back from a 10-point, second-half deficit and won 52-51 on a jumper by D'shara Strange with 2.6 seconds remaining. The loss is Montana's only home setback to a league opponent in its last 28 games.
Strange poured in 23 points and grabbed 13 boards Friday as Northern Colorado knocked the Hornets out of the tourney.