DILLON — The University of Montana Western men’s basketball team traveled to Caldwell, Idaho for a pair of games on Nov. 16 and 17. The Bulldogs ran out of time in a comeback on Friday against the College of Idaho, losing 73-80. On Saturday, Montana Western was successful against Walla Walla University with a 77-69 win.
Montana Western’s only lead against the College of Idaho came on their first basket, a three-pointer by Tyler Miller. From there, the Bulldogs would trail the Coyotes by as much as 13 points, including the halftime score of 26-39.
To start the second half, the College of Idaho went on a 10-3 run to increase their lead to 20 in the first five minutes. Montana Western would get the deficit back into single digits on back-to-back baskets by Jordan Overstreet with three minutes remaining. The Bulldogs got within five points twice, but the Coyotes held them off for the 80-73 win.
Kris Collins and Jake Owsley led Montana Western with 15 and 12 points, respectively. A trio of Bulldogs — Overstreet, Maazin Butler and Kris Castro — pitched in eight points apiece while Gabe Rucker dished four assists.
Owsley’s 12 rebounds helped the Bulldogs control the boards with a 54-38 advantage, including 26-6 offensively. The College of Idaho led in all shooting aspects, 45 percent (24-53) from the field and 35 percent (8-23) from behind the arc compared to 33 percent (26-79) and 30 percent (9-30) for Montana Western. The Coyotes also made two more free throws (24-38 for 63 percent) than the Bulldogs even shot (12-22 for 55 percent).
The College of Idaho was led by Rodney Delgardo with 22 points, Taylor Pruett with 16, Miguel Rodriguez with 13 and Ben Van Lith with 11.
On Saturday, Montana Western and Walla Walla traded leads early before the Bulldogs pulled ahead for good with three minutes left in the first half on a Kris Collins free throw. Montana Western closed out the half with a 13-4 run to take a 48-38 lead going into the locker room.
Down the stretch, Montana Western went 5-11 from the free throw line, allowing Walla Walla to get within five points. That was as close as the Wolves would get as the Bulldogs prevailed 77-69.
Montana Western was again led by Collins with 21 points. The Bulldogs’ bench contributed 39 points, led by Jordan Overstreet with 14 and Austin Mailey with nine. Kris Castro had seven rebounds and Tyler Miller had six assists.
Walla Walla shot better from the field, 44 percent (23-52) compared to Montana Western’s 38 percent (25-66). The Bulldogs were more efficient from three-point land at 30 percent (10-33) against 16 percent (4-25) for the Wolves. Walla Walla also shot better from the free throw line, going 68 percent (19-28) compared to Montana Western’s 53 percent (17-32). Tristan Greenidge led Walla Walla with 17 points followed by Miguel Martinez and Ryan Spady with 12 each and Tyreek Luckett with 11.
Montana Western has this weekend off to celebrate Thanksgiving and will return to action on Thursday, Nov. 29 in Pocatello, Idaho. The Bulldogs will take on Idaho State University at 7 p.m. in an exhibition game. On Saturday, Dec. 1, they will head to Salt Lake City, Utah for their first conference game of the season. Following the women’s game at 5:30 p.m., tip-off against Westminster College will be at 7:30 p.m.
— UM Western Sports Information
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