Tech impresses Sampson in loss to Houston

HOUSTON — Montana Tech did not shock the world Saturday afternoon at the Fertitta Center.

The Orediggers, though, did manage to impress their old coach in 78-51 loss to the University of Houston in an exhibition men’s basketball game. (Stats)

“Coach (Adam) Hiatt is doing a good job,” Houston coach Kelvin Sampson said. “They remind me of some of our teams.”

Sampson coached the Orediggers during an incredible stretch in the early and mid-1980s. He stared in Butte as a 24-year-old coach. Last year, he led the Cougars to the Final Four.

Marcus Sasser scored 21 points to lead three Houston players in double figures. Fabian White Jr. added 17 points and nine rebounds, and Josh Carlton came off the bench to score 16 points.

Houston led 45-30 at halftime.

Sindou Diallo scored 16 points to lead the Orediggers. Caleb Bellach tossed in 13, and Keeley Bake came off the bench to score 10 points.

In his postgame press conference, Sampson singled out Diallo, Bellach, Taylor England and Drew Huse. The coach pointed out that he coached Huse’s father, Brad, in Butte.

“Drew’s a good player, but he’s not as good as his dad,” Sampson said. “His dad is an All-American.”

Huse scored two points in the game. He was one of seven Tech players to score. Derrius Collins tossed in six points, while Michael Ure and Bridger Larson each scored two.

England, Camdyn LaRance, Cody Baumstarck, Christian Jones, John Dhoul and Sam Gray also played for the Orediggers.

The Orediggers will be back at home next Friday and Saturday when they play the College of Idaho and Oklahoma City University in the Montana Tech Fall Classic.

Houston will play host to Hofstra on Tuesday.