Orediggers upset No. 10 Bears, 100-91

Talk about some welcome snowfall.

Transfer guard Antonio Snow made his Oredigger home debut Thursday night at the HPER Complex, and the junior guard from Las Vegas came through in the clutch as Montana Tech upset No. 10 Rocky Mountain College 100-91. Box Score

Snow sparked down the stretch to spark the Orediggers, who broke open an 85-all tie with some pizzazz.

“The thing about Antonio is he’s always got confidence, no matter what time of game,” Tech junior Adam Greger said. “For him to come out there and do that, that’s what we need every night.”

Tech newcomer Antonio Snow looks to make something happen. (Bill Foley photo)

A bucket by Snow, a three-point play by Bryan Bock and a putback by Marcus Payne put the Orediggers up 92-85 and sent the smallish crowd into a tizzy.

Rocky appeared to kill that Oredigger momentum, though, when Rob Nyby sank a 3-pointer, and time out was called.

The Orediggers, though, followed by breaking the press and Greger took a pass and threw down a two-handed dunk just ahead of Jeremy Nichols to put an exclamation point on the win.

“I just put my head down and wanted to get it,” Greger said. “It was the right time of game, and it was a big momentum swing for us. I got a great pass and I have guys running the break with great vision. It was nice to finish it.”

Adam Greger dunks on Rocky’s Jeremy Nicolas. (Photo by Blake Hempstead, CopperheadCountry.Com)

Greger scored 21 points to lead six Orediggers in double figures.

Bock chipped in with 19, while Brandon Rydberg scored 16 points, Snow came off the bench to score 15, Travis Peevey tossed in 12 and Marcus Payne scored 10 points to go along with eight rebounds.

“This is the first win against Rocky,” Greger said. “They always bested us in the post. Credit Marcus, a freshman. He had a huge game. He came in there, played some good defense and had some huge rebounds. That was huge for us.”

Keegan McCarthy tossed in six points for the Orediggers, and Reid Baerlocher netted one. Roman Pruneda-Garza and Austin Davis also contributed to Tech’s first Frontier Conference win of the season.

Nicholas scored 21 points to lead the Bears, who fell to 3-1 in conference and 12-4 overall. Joel Barndt and Tyree Anderson each scored 17, and Sian Lane scored 14.

Tech coach Patrick O’Herron said the Bears appeared tired at the end of the game.

“We did some really good things with the pace of the game to keep their starters in,” the coach said. “I felt that got them tired towards the end of the game. We were able to attack them. We were able to rebound better because they weren’t going to the glass as hard, and some of their shots were shorter.”

Greger said the Orediggers kept up from the opening tipoff until the final buzzer.

“To be able to come out like that and compete for all 40 minutes, it was just awesome,” Greger said. “We haven’t put together a game like that. It will be a huge win for us.

“When we’ve got guys like that coming to play, we’re going to be tough to beat,” Greger continued. “This is a game that’s going to propel us into the next game. Hopefully we get a few in a row and get some good carry over.”

Tech improved to 1-3 and 8-7. The game was Tech’s first home contest in almost a month and the first Frontier game played on their home floor.

“It’s nice to play at home,” O’Herron said. “To me, we played the four toughest teams in our conference early. We could have stole one on the road. But like I said to them, if we can protect home court and steel a couple on the road it gives us a chance at least to make the playoffs.”

The Orediggers are back at home Saturday when they play host to Dickinson State. The doubleheader begins with the women’s game at 2 p.m.

Rocky’s Danny Little fouls Tech freshman Marcus Payne. (Bill Foley photo)

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