Orediggers Face Battlin’ Bears in Frontier Tournament Semifinal

Orediggers Face Battlin’ Bears in Frontier Tournament Semifinal

By MT Tech Sports Info

Single Site Frontier Conference Tournament—The Four Seasons Arena is hosting the first single site Frontier Conference Basketball Tournament in over a decade. All six institutions will play under the same roof over three days with the men’s and women’s championships taking place Tuesday night. The University of Providence is the host institution this year at the neutral site. The winners of the tournament receive the automatic bid for the conference and move on to the NAIA National Championship Opening Round.

What a Season—The Orediggers turned in one of the top seasons in school history finishing the regular season with a 24-4 regular season record and winning their second Frontier Conference Championship. The back-to-back conference title is the first since 1984 and 1985 seasons under head coach Kelvin Sampson. Tech finished with a 12-3 conference record tying marks by the 1987-88 and 1990-91 teams. The Orediggers are going for their second straight Frontier Conference Tournament win this week which hasn’t been done since the 1997-98 and 1998-99 teams.

NAIA Top 10—The No. 10 ranking is the highest a Montana Tech men’s basketball team has reached in school history in the NAIA Coaches’ Top 25 Poll. The Orediggers started at No. 23 in the preseason poll after being No. 14 in the postseason rankings at the end of last season. Tech was ranked No. 18 in the first edition of the Coaches’ Poll on November 16th after the 2022-23 season started.

Around the Boards—Montana Tech led the league in rebounding during the conference season averaging 37.3 rebounds a game, nearly three more than the average by their opponents. Fort Benton’s Hayden Diekhans led the rebounding effort averaging 7.4 boards a game ranking third in the conference. Caleb Bellach ranked seventh in the Frontier grabbing 5.7 boards a game and Michael Ure was 12th with a 5.2 average.

Getting Hot—Junior transfer Asa Williams is averaging 16.2 points a game in the last five contests of the season including a an 18 point performance last week at Northern. Williams is 13 for 28 from beyond the arc in those games and shooting 50.9% from the field.

Clutch Shot—Michael Ure hit the game winner last week at MSU-Northern to put the Orediggers over the light 64-63 at the buzzer. The Orediggers took the season series over the Lights 2-1 and finished the season on a four game winning streak.

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