PHOENIX, Ariz. – No. 18 Montana Tech traveled to No. 1 Arizona Christian for their toughest opponent of the 2022-23 season. The Orediggers went at the top team, but a late rally by the Firestorm stopped the upset short 84-80.
The Firestorm (5-1) used a 10-4 run late in the second half pulling ahead 73-72 with 4:48 to go in the game.
With the Firestorm up 80-75, Chrishon Dixon hit a three and Hayden Dixon made a layup off a steal from Hayden Diekhans to close the gap to 81-80 with 16 seconds left. The Firestorm hit the key free throws and Caleb Bellach missed a three in the final seconds.
The Orediggers (7-1) led 42-35 at halftime shooting 48.4% from the field and outrerounding the Firestorm 23-14 before the break. Tech finished shooting 46.8% from the field and outrebounding the Firestorm 39-32 in the game.
Bellach had 12 points at the break and finished with 18 in the game. Bellach went 7 of 18 from the field and rebounds.
Diekhans had 11 points and 7 rebounds in the first half. The freshman finished with 16 points and 8 rebounds.
The Firestorm shot 44.1% from the field. Trent Hudgens did most of the work scoring 18 points in the first half. Hudgens finished with 29 points and 5 rebounds.
The Firestorm finished shooting 50.8% in the game.
Angelo Johnson had 17 points, 7 rebounds, and 5 assists.
Dixon had 12 points and 7 rebounds for the Orediggers going 5 for 8 from the field and 2 for 3 from beyond the arc.
Asa Williams went 2 for 3 from three and 5 for 9 from the field with 12 points.
Montana Tech plays SAGU tomorrow before returning home for the Frontier Conference opener against Rocky Mountain next Thursday.