DILLON – The Western Traditional tipped-off with a matchup between the Montana Tech Orediggers and the Japanese Oregon Mountaineers.
Final season, these groups performed of their season openers, a 92-82 victory for the Mountaineers. The scoring wasn’t as prolific this time round as Tech gained in a defensive battle, 70-61.
It was a sport of runs within the first half, with each groups buying and selling blows and scoring in spirts. Tech had scoring runs of 6-0 and 8-1, whereas EOU had runs of 9-0 and 7-1. There wasn’t a lot separating the 2 groups, and Tech took a two-point lead into the break, 34-32.
The rating was tied six instances with 9 lead modifications within the sport, most of which coming within the opening half.
Tech maintained a lead all through the second half however the Mountaineers refused to go away. The Orediggers led by 9 with 3:41 remaining however EOU battled their approach again.
After steal and a bucket by Phillip Malatare, the Mountaineers had minimize the Tech result in 62-60. The Orediggers recovered and completed on a excessive be aware.
A Michael Ure layup assisted by Asa Williams prolonged the result in 68-61 with lower than a minute remaining.
The Orediggers discovered a option to win regardless of Caleb Bellach’s foul hassle all through the sport. Asa Williams and Hayden Diekhans stepped up for Tech, combining for 35 factors with environment friendly taking pictures. Williams shot 66.7% and scored 20 factors in his highest-scoring sport as an Oredigger.
“They (Williams and Diekhans) carried us after we wanted it most,” Tech head coach Adam Hiatt stated.
It was the primary massive check for Tech they usually handed in crunch time. The Orediggers shot 14-16 (87.5%) from the free throw line within the second half, which proved to be vital in closing out the sport.
“We’re ecstatic about this win,” Hiatt stated. “Successful a sport like this with Caleb (Bellach) and Crishon (Dixon) in foul hassle, it’s a manifestation of our depth”.
The Orediggers performed a robust defensive sport, holding EOU to 33.8% taking pictures. An unlimited enchancment in comparison with the 92 factors they let up in opposition to the Mountaineers a season in the past.
The Mountaineers had three double-digit scorers, led by Solomon Mcginnis with 17 factors off the bench.
Tech performs their second and remaining sport of the Western Traditional on Saturday at 3 p.m. in opposition to Dickinson State (N.D.). Japanese Oregon follows it up at 5 p.m. in a matchup with Montana Western.