Tech women drop Dickinson State in hoops tilt

Tech women drop Dickinson State in hoops tilt

By Bruce Sayler

Montana Tech was simply relentless in its pursuit of the lead and, then, the win in its college women’s basketball game with Dickinson State on Saturday.

The Orediggers trailed early, then flew past their opponents for a 73-62 victory in the non-conference game played at the Tech HPER Complex. Stats

“I thought it was a good game,” Montana Tech head coach Carly Sanon said. “Dickinson State is a good team. They’re known for their 3-point shooting and for getting out and running the floor. In the first half, they did get some points in transition, then after that, we did a better job of stopping it.”

The Blue Hawks took their early lead when Ashley Bentz-Laub stroked a 3-pointer to snap a 5-all tie with 6 minutes, 20 seconds left in the first quarter. They kept a 17-15 lead at the quarter break, then built it to 25-15 by sandwiching 3-point baskets by MacKayla Feeney and Lorna Shepherd around a drive to the hoop by Taylor Henningsgard. Montana Tech started its surge.

Once behind 27-18, the Orediggers then reeled off 10 straight points as Rachel Farris got loose in the key for eight of the points on short jumpers.

Dickinson State held a 32-29 edge at halftime after a trey by Paitton Herbst.

Montana Tech finally took the lead for good when a 3-pointer by Monica Landdeck broke a 36-all deadlock. It was Landdeck’s second straight trey and one of seven the Orediggers netted in the third quarter as they gained a 57-49 margin going into the final frame.

Sanon attributed some of the getaway to the defensive job done on Megan Klein, the star 6-foot-1 post player for the team from North Dakota.

“She usually gets a lot of offensive rebounds and she got four today,” the coach said. “We did a lot of box-out drills in practice this week.”
The Orediggers maintained the advantage they gained in the third quarter through the fourth as Sanon used her bench liberally. The depth proved to be good and the insertion of fresher players wore even more on the Blue Hawks.

A 15-point difference of 69-54, attained with 4:07 to go on a layup by Oredigger freshman Kaylee Zard was the widest gap on the scoreboard for the game.

Montana Tech was balanced on offense and pretty fluid on defense. Four players notched double figures in scoring as standout senior point guard Hattie Thatcher and Kourtney Coverdell scored 14 points each, and Farris and Martha Dembek wound up with 12 each. The Orediggers also got nine points from Zard, eight from Landdeck, and two each from Hannah Sparks and Shay Potter. Dembek led in rebounds with eight and the 5-foot-5 Thatcher snared seven.

“Hattie was leading us again — she’s so steady — with 14 points, seven assists and seven rebounds,” Sanon said. “Rachel had 10 for us in the first half when they were sagging off her. The Coverdell twins (Kourtney and Kaylynn) came off the bench for us and did good jobs. Kourtney had 14 points in the second half and really got us going. She then played point (guard) and gave Hattie a break. Kaylynn is a great defensive player. She does a lot of little things for us that aren’t seen on the stat line.”

Sanon said she identified some areas to strengthen, too, saying the team’s dribble penetration wasn’t where it needs to be yet, and that the Orediggers were slow in the first half in getting into their offensive sets and motion.

“We need to get that cleaned up,” she said.

The deepness of the roster, though, is proving to be a plus, so far, two games into the season.

“After last year, I wanted to recruit depth and I think we have that,” Sanon said. “We have a stretch of five games in eight days and we will need that — getting points and stopls off the bench.”

Montana Tech players Callie Remsen and Kimi Heng also played in the game.

Dickinson State leaders were Shepherd with 16 points, Herbst (from Baker, Montana) with 14, and Henningsgard with 12. Klein finished with a game-high 14 rebounds. The Blue Hawks are now 1-1 for the season.

Montana Tech is 2-0 for the young season and will be home again on Sunday and Monday for a two-game set versus Northwest Indian College of Bellingham, Washington. Scheduled tip-off times are 2 p.m on Sunday and 5:30 on Monday.

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