DILLON, Mont. – The Montana Tech women’s basketball team challenged the top Bulldog on their home court, but No. 12 Montana Western overcame a first half deficit to win their 12th straight game. The Bulldogs downed the Orediggers 78-71.
The Orediggers (6-10, 2-4) lost their second meeting at Straugh Gymnasium this season, but they also put up a great fight against the ranked Bulldogs.
Tech shot 16 for 24 from the field in the first half and went 7 for 7 from beyond the arc to jump out to a 45-39 lead at halftime. All seven three-pointers came from seven different Orediggers. Tavia Rooney led the first half scoring with 17 points before the break.
The Bulldogs didn’t start off slow either shooting 13 of 29 from the field in the first half keeping within striking distance. Brynley Fitzgerald kept the Bulldogs in the game scoring 20 points in the first half. Fitzgerald finished with 31 in the game.
The Frontier Conference leading Bulldogs (17-2, 5-1) got hot in the third quarter. Western shot 9 for 17 from the field and outscored Tech 22-8 in the third frame to take control of the game.
A slow third quarter by Tech helped Western take the lead. The Orediggers went 3 of 12 in the third.
Tech finished strong in the fourth outscoring Western down the stretch 18-17 but the third quarter whole was too big.
Rooney led the Orediggers with 24 points. The junior forward finished with a season high six assists and added four rebounds to her totals. Rooney went 10 for 16 from the field and 2 for 3 from deep.
Soda Rice finished with seven points and seven rebounds.
Ally Cleverly also had seven points shooting a perfect 3 for 3 from the field and 1 for 1 from three.
Led by Fitzgerald, Western had 40 points in the paint to 26 by the Orediggers.
Jordan Sweeney had 12 points and Mesa King netted 10 for the Bulldogs.
Montana Tech is on the road next week when they travel to Rocky Mountain and Carroll College.