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Sayeed Pridgett

After helping Montana to a 2-0 start to begin conference play, Montana senior Sayeed Pridgett was named the Big Sky Conference Men's Basketball Player of the Week.

It is Pridgett's first award of the season and the fourth in his career. Pridgett won the award three times during a six-week span last season.

Montana came from behind to beat both Northern Arizona and Sacramento State this week, with Pridgett leading the way with 20.5 points and nine rebounds per game, in addition to a team-high five steals.

The senior had 27 points and 10 rebounds on Saturday vs. Northern Arizona, recording his fourth double-double of the season. With Montana trailing by eight in the second half, the Grizzlies used a 15-2 run to take control of the contest. Pridgett had seven of his team's points during that stint and 18 overall during the second half.

"We need that out of him, he's our floor leader in a lot of ways, he gives us confidence," Montana head coach Travis DeCuire said of Pridgett following the win against NAU. "We had a stretch where we were struggling and he demanded the ball and said 'I'm ready' and he scores on three or four straight possessions for us.

"That gives our guys confidence."

Two nights later, Montana pulled off a 52-50 win over Sacramento State, winning in the closing seconds. Pridgett tied for the team lead with 14 points and eight rebounds, in addition to a game-high four steals. He scored six of Montana's final 10 points as the Grizzlies rallied from a six-point deficit with under 10 minutes to play.

After earning first-team All-Big Sky honors a season ago, Pridgett entered 2019-20 as a player-of-the-year candidate. He has lived up to the billing early on, ranking second in the Big Sky for scoring (19.5 points per game) and rebounding (7.9) and leading the conference with 2.2 steals per contest.

The versatile player also ranks 10th for assists (2.8 per game), 12th for blocked shots (0.8) and 15th for shooting (.500). He is the league's only player to rank in the top 15 for each statistical category.

Montana is one of three unbeaten teams through one week of conference play and will now take its 2-0 record on the road for six of the next eight games.

"We get to go-time, about the 8-minute mark, take over if he can or at least draw a second defender and create some shots for other people," DeCuire said. "Whether he’s being doubled or he’s not, he just has to make the right play for us and he’s doing a good job of that right now.”

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