Tech women leash Dawgs

Two games does not a season make.

Still, Montana Tech coach Kerie DePell has to be feeling pretty good about her basketball team after the opening weekend of the season.

Montana Tech used an early second half run to take control and held on for a 72-61 non-conference win over Montana Western Saturday night at the HPER Complex.

Three players scored in double figures, and eight players scored as the Orediggers completed a great weekend for Montana Tech athletics.

Thanks to two wins by the volleyball team, two wins by the women’s basketball team and a win apiece by the football and men’s basketball teams, the Orediggers went 6-0 at home on their super-busy weekend that started on Thursday night.

Kelsey DeWit got off to a hot start Saturday. The junior center scored 18 of her game-high 23 points in the first half. That included a scoop shot that put the Orediggers up 40-39 heading into halftime.

At the break, DePell said she chewed out Laini Kalumbi because the junior guard wasn’t following the game plan on Western’s Sammi Bignell, who scored nine of her 14 points before the break.

“She answered the call big time,” DePell said said of Kalumbi in the second half. “Defensively and offensively, she was a powerhouse. She was a big reason we got the win.”

Kalumbi scored 10 points after the break and ended the night with 12.

Mandy Machinal scored 11 for the Orediggers, while Brooke Pokorny and Jessica Sturm scored eight. Also, Dannielle Devenny tossed in five, Erika Jenkins netted three and Brynne Kambich scored two.

“We’re playing well as a team,” DePell said. “We’ve got a lot of different rolls to fill, and everybody is filling them.”

Roxanne Thurman scored 17 for the Bulldogs, who are without star center Hayley Pettit, who is done for the season with an ACL tear. Kaci Matthies and Brittney Leibenguth each scored 12.

The Orediggers blew out South Dakota Mines Friday night. DePell said Saturday’s competition was much tougher.

“Western is good,” the coach said. “They’re learning how to play without Pettit, which is a big loss, but they’re still a very good team.”

The Orediggers will play an exhibition game against Montana State Monday night in Bozeman.


Tech-Western stats

Montana Tech’s Dannielle Devenny and Montana Western’s Alecia Wilson battle for a rebound.