The University of Montana Western women’s basketball team hit the road for the third straight weekend to take on two Frontier Conference opponents needing a sweep. The ladies responded and gave head coach Lindsay Woolley exactly what his team needed with a 62-57 win over Rocky Mountain College and a 73-60 win over Dickinson State.
The women are currently 5-5 in the conference tied with Carroll College. The top two teams will get byes in the conference tournament, while the third and fourth seeds will host games in the first round.
“Two huge wins for us on the road. Our bench did a nice job at Dickinson giving us some scoring because we had a few kids in foul trouble,” UMW head coach Lidsay Woolley said. “Other than our first half at Rocky we put together two pretty good games on the defensive end and found just enough offense to be successful.”
Thursday evening UMW traveled to Billings to take on the Battlin’ Bears of Rocky Mountain College. They were able to battle and come back from a six point halftime deficit and win by five. The Bears made one more field goal and four more three-point baskets on the evening, but Montana Western had 15 more free-throw attempts and made eleven more from the charity stripe.
Sammi Bignell led all players with 26 points and 11 rebounds for a double-double. Melody McCloud added ten points on 60 percent shooting from the field. To go along with her double digit scoring effort McCloud added seven rebounds. For RMC Mya Perrow-Donovan and Kelsey George each had eleven points.
The women traveled to Dickinson, N.D., to take on the Blue Hawks on Saturday afternoon. The UMW women came away with a double digit win by a score of 73-60. Montana Western shot 47.6 percent from behind the arc hitting on 10 of 21 attempts, while holding DSU to 5.3 percent shooting from three-point range making only one shot on 19 attempts. The Bulldogs also made it to the free-throw line 37 times making 23, while DSU went 15 of 22 from the line.
Jenna Banks had 18 points and five assists and McCall Hasquet added 14, making 4 three-point shots. Roxy Thurman added ten points and seven rebounds while Kaci Matthies had nine rebounds. Dickinson State’s Ja’Lisa Gatlin led all scorers with 19 points while grabbing 12 rebounds. Keshawnee Alley had a double-double for the Blue Hawks scoring 13 points and recording 13 boards.
“I’m really proud of our kids for breaking through on the road and giving us some momentum heading into a four game home stand,” said Coach Woolley.
The ladies from UMW return home for the next two weekends. The Bulldogs will turn around and host Rocky Mountain on Friday evening with a 5:30 p.m. tip. On Saturday the Blue Hawks come to Dillon and take on UMW at 2 p.m. Both games can be seen online at http://www.livestream.com/westernbulldogs.
“We get to turn around and play the same two teams we just played, so we will have to make a couple adjustments to our game plan defensively and look at adding a couple more wrinkles offensively,” said Coach Woolley. “These two games are critical if we want to give ourselves a chance at hosting a playoff game. It will be nice to be home and sleep in our beds and play in front of our fans after being on the road for the last month.”
The University of Montana Western has launched a national search for the provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs position.