News briefs

Rocky to host MSU-Northern Rocky Mountain College will wrap up its regular-season basketball schedule tonight with games against Montana State-Northern in the Fortin Center.

The women will play at 6 p.m., followed by the men at 8.

The Rocky men, coming off an 89-75 win over the University of Great Falls on Thursday, are 4-9 in Frontier Conference play and 8-19 overall. MSU-Northern, which lost 100-83 at Carroll College on Thursday, is 6-7 and 17-12.

Northern rallied in the final minutes to beat Rocky 84-80 in Havre on Jan. 26.

The Bears have already clinched sixth place in the Frontier standings and will play third-place Westminster College Thursday afternoon in the opening round of the conference tournament in the Butte Civic Center.

For the women, Rocky, which defeated UGF 68-58 on Thursday, is sitting sixth at 5-8 and 15-15 overall. Northern, 6-7 and 19-9, is in a tie for third place after winning 70-64 at Carroll on Thursday.

Northern downed Rocky 74-50 when they met in Havre on Jan. 26.

The Lady Bears and Skylights could meet again on Thursday in the opening round of next week's Frontier tournament in Butte. Westminster and Carroll are also possible first-round foes for Rocky.

Nine Rocky seniors will be playing their final home game tonight. The Bear seniors include: Josh Allen, Ryan Eklund, Steve Johnson, Trisha Sukut, Heather Heggem, Hannah Elletson, Tommi DeRudder, Lindsey Guest and Beth Gerber.Bobcats cut down Lumberjacks BOZEMAN - James Clark scored a career-high 24 points Friday to lead Montana State to a 62-59 victory over Northern Arizona.

Clark had 16 points in the second half, including two free throws with a minute remaining, to give Montana State (17-8, 10-2 Big Sky) a 60-54 lead.

NAU (13-11, 6-5) had a chance to tie the game at the buzzer, after Clark missed the front end of a 1-and-1 free throw attempt, but Joel Reick's shot at the buzzer bounced off the front of the rim.

Jason Erickson had 14 points and 10 rebounds for Montana State, which led by as much as 31-18 with 3:44 left in the first half. Reserve Kenny Plummer added 13 points for the Bobcats.

Ryan McDade led the Lumberjacks with 21 points, but scored only four in the second half. Matt Gebhardt had 11 for NAU.Griz continue Sac State's road woes MISSOULA - Ryan Slider scored a career-high 18 points and grabbed six rebounds to lead Montana to an 86-53 victory over Sacramento State Friday night.

Sacramento State (9-16, 3-8 Big Sky) has lost 46 straight league road games since joining the Big Sky Conference six seasons ago.

A 9-2 run capped by a 3-pointer by David Bell gave Montana (12-13, 6-6) a 29-17 lead with 7:04 to play in the first half. Joel Jones scored on a layup to bring the Hornets within 29-19, but the Grizzlies closed the half with another 9-2 run to take a 38-21 lead.

Travis Greenwalt added 15 points and seven rebounds for Montana, which secured a spot in the league tournament.

Rashaad Hooks led the Hornets with nine points and Cedric Thompkins added eight points and 10 rebounds.Lady Griz whip Sac State SACRAMENTO, Calif. - LeAnn Montes had 12 points and six rebounds Friday in Montana's 72-31 victory over winless Sacramento State.

All 12 players scored for Montana (18-7, 10-2 Big Sky).

Sacramento State (0-24, 0-11) made just 8-of-43 shots in the game, less than 19 percent shooting from the field.

Laura Valley scored eight of her 10 points in the first half for Montana.

Lori Kerswell led Sacramento State with nine points, but had seven turnovers.Lady Cats suffer key loss FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. - Lynsie Blau and Lacey Tolbert scored 16 points each Friday in Northern Arizona's 71-62 victory over Montana State.

Northern Arizona (14-10, 7-4 Big Sky) shot nearly 61 percent from the field in the first half to take a 44-24 lead.

Montana State (15-10, 9-3) improved its second-half shooting and outscored NAU 38-27, but the loss hurt the Bobcats' chances of playing host to the Big Sky Conference tournament.

Also in double figures for NAU were Jen Snitker with 14 points and Lindsey Foster with 13 points and seven assists.

Jessica Blake led MSU (15-10, 9-3) with 29 points and nine rebounds, while Rebecca Alvidrez added 11 points, eight rebounds and eight assists.Class A games on TV tonight BELGRADE - Tonight's championship and third-place games at the Class A boys basketball tournament will be carried live on Omega TV (cable channel 70 in Billings).

The third-place game is scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m., followed by the championship showdown. TV channel numbers vary by location across the state.Outlaws' scrimmages set The Billings Outlaws professional indoor football team will hold open-to-the-public scrimmages at Metra today and Sunday, both starting at 2 p.m.

The Outlaws are scheduled to open the season in mid-March, though the NIFL has not yet released its schedule.

The scrimmage will be approximately 60, 70 plays, according to head coach Joe Curtiss.

"What we want to do is take a look at guys in game situations," said Curtiss. "Most pro teams play somebody else, but because of cost, we can't. This will be a really controlled scrimmage."

Following today's scrimmage, Outlaws players and cheerleaders will appear and sign autographs at a youth basketball awards ceremony at the First Assembly of God Church located at Broadwater and 32nd Street West.ESPN2 to carry Winter Derby live CYPRESS, Calif. - Tonight's $220,000 Los Alamitos Winter Derby - which includes Montana quarter horse Panther Mountain - will be carried live on ESPN2 (cable channel 35 in Billings).

The telecast of the 400-yard race is scheduled to begin at 11 p.m. (Mountain time). It will begin with live coverage of the 10-horse Winter Derby, followed by same-day taped races from across the country.

Panther Mountain is owned by Billings businessman Guy Weimer. The 3-year-old colt is one of the pre-race favorites, along with Babe Watcher.

The morning line has Panther Mountain going off at 5-2 odds and Babe Watcher at 8-5.Wyoming set for last road trip LARAMIE, Wyo. - Wyoming embarks on its last road trip of the regular conference season, visiting Air Force and New Mexico.

The Cowboys (17-6 overall, 8-2 Mountain West) travel to Air Force (9-14, 3-7) Saturday and then to New Mexico (14-10, 4-6) on Monday.

The Air Force game is scheduled to start at 2 p.m. The New Mexico contest is scheduled for 10 p.m. and will be televised on ESPN.

Wyoming returns home for its final two conference games.

The Air Force game brings together two teams that went into four overtimes in their first meeting. Wyoming won at home on Jan. 28 by a score of 83-76.

The Cowboys are coming off a stinging home loss to San Diego State on Monday, falling a half game behind league leading Utah.

But Cowboy coach Steve McClain said his team practiced well this week after a poor shooting performance against SDSU.

"I don't spend a lot of time worrying about shooting, it comes and goes," he said. "It went on us that night and there was nothing we could do about it."

Wyoming won nine of its last 10 meetings in Colorado Springs, helping it become the best road team in the conference over the past two seasons. Its only road loss this season was a Brigham Young.

But Air Force's patient offense gave Wyoming fits in their first meeting.

"I think their system keeps them in the games," McClain said. "…I think more than anything I see a team that's more comfortable with their system than they ever have been."

Air Force has three players averaging 10 points or better a game - Lamoni Yazzie (12.8), Joel Gerlach (11.5) and Tom Bellairs (10.1).

The Cowboys have four players in that category: Donta Richardson (13.7), Marc Bailey (13.0), Josh Davis (12.5) and Uche Nsonwu-Amadi (10.1).UW stadium to get repairs LARAMIE, Wyo. - The upper west stands of the University of Wyoming's War Memorial Stadium will undergo repairs this summer.

The work is intended to reverse damage to structural concrete.

Weather damage to the lightweight aggregate concrete structure was noticed first in 1981, with major repairs made in 1982 and 1992. Patching has been performed regularly during the past two decades.

In October, UW hired the engineering firm Structural Solutions of Cheyenne and Casper to evaluate the condition of the upper west stands and to develop a plan to repair damage to the lightweight aggregate precast concrete caused by years of freeze-thaw cycles.

Structural Solutions subcontracted a portion of the work to Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates of Lakewood, Colo. The companies inspected the stands in November and submitted their report to UW in January.

The report cites replacements of five precast concrete sections along the lower walkway of the upper west stands as the stadium's most immediate priority.

UW will replace five damaged sections of the concrete walkway. The repairs will be completed before the 2002 football season, using deferred maintenance funds provided by the Legislature last year.

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