Digger women start slow, roll past Blue Hawks

Digger women start slow, roll past Blue Hawks
Montana Tech junior post Shay Potter goes up for a bucket between Dickinson State's Caleigh McClennan, left, and Rojin Karahan Thursday at the HPER Complex. (Bill Foley photo)

By Bill Foley

The Montana Tech women’s basketball team put on a clinic this tonight at the HPER Complex.

Well, all except for the first few minutes.

The Orediggers rebounded from a quick 7-1 deficit to roll to a 76-49 win over Dickinson State during the first day of the PayneWest Tip Off Classic. (Stats)

“We did a lot of good things,” Tech coach Carly Sanon said. “We shot the ball well again. Our energy, we were really consistent the who whole game. The game before we were up and down. We were much more even in this game.”

Tech improved to 2-0 on the season. The Orediggers rolled to a lopsided win over Yellowstone Christian to open the season last Thursday.

This week’s competition is a big step up for the Orediggers. Still, they made it look fairly easy.

Tech outscored Dickinson 39-12 after that early deficit to take a 40-19 advantage into locker room following Mollie Peoples’ acrobatic buzzer-beating basket.

The teams were tied at 15 after the first quarter. Tech freshman Dani Urick hit a 3-pointer to open the second to start a 14-0 Oredigger run. The Orediggers led 61-29 after three quarters.

Sanon said defense led the way in the win.

“Our defense really kind of keyed our offense,” she said. “We got some steals, we were getting some hands on things. I think that kind of got them frazzled a little bit. They have a lot of good 3-point shooters, and they only shot 13 percent.”

Four players scored in double figures to lead Tech. Kaylee Zard and Chelestina Faletoi each scored 11 points to lead the way. Faletoi came off the bench, and Zard became the second Tech player to hit a 3-pointer in as many games.

Shay Potter connected from down town last week.

In all, the Orediggers have five post players, with 5-foot-11 Lana Berg being the shortest. Sanon said the big and versatile post players, who will be called upon from behind the arc, will be key this season.

“That really helps us,” the coach said of the size and athletic ability of the posts. “We can do a bunch of different things.”

Mollie Peoples and Sharlei Graham-Bernisto each came off the bench to score 10 points, while Potter poured in eight and Berg scored seven.

Tech also got six from Hailey Crawford, five from Jaime Berg and Dani HUrick and three from Mesa Williams.

Megan Delaney also contributed for the Orediggers.

Rojin Karaham’s 11 points paced the Blue Hawks. Riley Helmick came off the bench to score nine points. Lacy Waid and Brook Janz each scored six.

Sanon said the Orediggers have been working hard on the defensive end.

“We want to be a team that can stop people,” she said.

Tech plays Calumet College of St. Joseph (Indiana) at 5 p.m. Friday. Tech will host the Master’s University (California) on Tuesday.

“It’s a busy week for us, but I think it will be good,” Sanon said. “We will be able to see where we are at.”

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