L-C State gets revenge on Montana Tech women

Lewis-Clark State's Hannah Byerly goes up to block a shot by Montana Tech's Hattie Thatcher Saturday at the HPER Complex. (Bill Foley photo)

By Bill Foley

Montana Tech’s women’s basketball team was wearing pink for cancer awareness Saturday night at the HPER Complex.

The Lewis-Clark State Warriors, however, apparently came into the gym seeing red.

The No. 12 Warriors avenged a December loss to the Orediggers with an 84-67 Frontier Conference win. Stats

“It was kind of a role reversed,” said Montana Tech coach Carly VanDyke-Sannon, whose Orediggers beat L-C State 83-57 Dec. 5 in Butte. “We came out and were on fire in the second half the first time we played them here. Tonight, they came out and they were on fire and scored, I think, 75 points in their first three quarters.”

It was actually 73, but the Warriors held a convincing 73-42 lead after 30 minutes. The Warriors led 25-12 after the first quarter and 50-23 at halftime.

The Orediggers came back with a strong fourth quarter, outscoring the Warriors 25-11. The comeback, though, was too late.

“We finished well,” VanDyke-Sannon said. “We keep going, and we never quit. That’s something that I really love about this team.”

The Orediggers, who have two starters in Shayla Mack and Sammy McGree out with torn ACLs, fell to 2-13 in conference and 6-18 overall.

Several of the “healthy” Orediggers are also playing through injuries.

“It’s hard,” VanDyke-Sannon said. “It’s frustrating at times, but I love how they don’t quit. We worked on some things in that fourth quarter that I want to get better at, and we did that. We got better in that fourth quarter, and that will be huge for us.”

Brooke Litalien scored 18 points to lead four Warriors in double figures. Megan Risinger scored 17, while Brittany Tackett scored 16 and Caelyn Orlandi tossed in 11.

Martha Dembeck scored 24 points to lead the Orediggers, tying the school record with seven 3-pointers. Hattie Thatcher tossed in 22 points to go along with seven assists.

Dembeck is the third Oredigger this season to tie the school record with seven 3-pointers. Dani Peterson set the record in in 2009 with seven threes against Carroll College. McGree did it against Rocky Mountain College last month, while Kourtney Coverdell did it against Biola University in November.

“She finally has come out the last couple of games and has really gotten her groove back,” VanDyke-Sanon said of Dembek, who missed time with a concussion earlier this season. “That’s good to see.”

The Orediggers also got eight points from Coverdell, six from Rachel Farris, five from Kimi Heng and two from Kaylynn Coverdell.

Lewis-Clark State, which won at Carroll College Friday night, improved to 12-2 in conference and 21-4 overall.

“To be honest, I think it’s the best team we played all year, and we played some top 10 teams” VanDyke-Sanon said. “They’re so athletic, they can shoot it, they can bounce it, they do a lot of good things.”

“It’s something we have to learn from,” the coach said. “We’re in the process of building a program, and it’s just going to take time.”

The Orediggers, who are on the outside looking in at the playoff picture, have four regular-season games left. They play host to Rocky and Montana Western next week.

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