Thursday’s Hot Ticket

Women’s College Basketball
Montana Tech at Montana Western, 5:30 p.m.

The Orediggers (9-5, 16-10) can wrap up the No. 3 seed in the Frontier playoffs, which start Tuesday, with a win at the Straugh Gymnasium. The Bulldogs (5-9, 13-15) are fighting for their playoff lives in the key conference game. The Orediggers beat Western 66-57 Jan. 3 in Butte. Sammi Bignell averages 15.2 points and 6.7 rebounds per game to lead the Bulldogs, who have lost six of their last seven games. The Orediggers won three straight despite playing without injured center Kelsey DeWit. Coach Kerie DePell said last week she was hoping to get DeWit, who averages 12.7 points and 7.4 rebounds, back this week. Mandy Machinal averages a team-best 15.3 points per game. Dannii Devenny, who scored a career-high 21 points last week against Rocky Mountain, averages 10.6 points per game.

Men’s College Basketball
Montana Tech at Montana Western, 7:30 p.m.

The Orediggers absolutely have to win this game. Tech (6-8, 15-13) is a game behind Rocky Mountain College for the final playoff spot with two games left. Rocky owns the tiebreaker, so Tech has to finish above the Bears, who play at home against MSU-Northern tonight and at home against Great Falls Saturday. The Orediggers play at Westminster College Saturday, but that doesn’t matter if they don’t beat Western (9-5, 19-8), which is in the hunt for a first-round bye in the playoffs. Maazin Bulter averages 12.3 points per game to lead three Bulldogs averaging in double figures. Jake Owsley, the reigning Frontier Conference Player of the Week, averages 12.4 points and 8.3 rebounds, while Jordan Overstreet adds 12.3 points per game to the lineup. Western has won three straight. Adam Greger averages 19 points per game to pace the Orediggers. Bryan Bock scores 12.9, while Daniel Simon scores 9.9 points and pulls down 6.8 rebounds.