KANSAS CITY, Mo. – No. 7 Ottawa University surged in the second half ending No. 4 Montana Tech’s season in the NAIA National Championship Quarterfinals 76-58.
A tough Spirit defense held the Orediggers to their lowest point total of the season as Tech struggled to score. The Orediggers shot 31.7% from the field and went 5 for 26 from three-point range.
The game remained close much of the first half with six ties before the break. The Orediggers held the lead for nearly 14 minutes of the half and went on an 9-2 run going up 25-19 with 3:19 to go before the break.
The Spirit came back with an 11-3 run hitting three pointers from three different shooters to go up 30-27 with 41 seconds left. Josiah De’laCerda had five in the run and lead Ottawa with 13 points in the half.
The Spirit shot 43.3% from the field and outrebounded the Orediggers 18-12 before the break.
Asa Williams hit a pair of free throws before the break putting Tech down 30-29 at halftime. Williams led Tech with nine points in the first half. Williams finished the game with 15 points and seven rebounds.,
The Orediggers missed all nine three-point attempts and shot 36.7% from the field.
The Spirit opened with a 13-2 run in the first five minutes of the second half going up 43-31.
The Orediggers not giving up came with six at 57-51 with 6:19 to play. Ottawa stopped any momentum going on a 17-4 run over the next five minutes putting the game away.
The Spirit shot 50% from the field in the second half and hit 5 of 11 from deep. They finished the game shooting 46.8% and outrebounded Tech 44-31. The Spirit had six blocks.
Ottawa had 36 points in the paint and Tech finished with 28.
Camdyn LaRance had 10 points in the second half and led the Orediggers with 16 points. LaRance went 5 for 10 from the field, 2 for 3 from long, and 4 for 4 from the free throw line.
Chrishon Dixon finished with nine points and Bridger Larson had seven. Hayden Diekhans had five points and six rebounds.
De’laCerda led all scorers with 20 points shooting 9 for 16 from the field and 2 for 5 from beyond the arc. He finished with eight rebounds, four assists, and three blocks.
Kolton Hitt had 17 points shooting 7 for 12 from the field and 3 for 5 from deep. Hitt also had five rebounds.
Devin Collins had 10 rebounds.
Montana Tech finishes the 2022-23 season with numerous accomplishments including the most wins in program history finishing with an overall record of 29-5.