UMW News BureauThe University of Montana Western picked up a pair of victories at the Annual College of Idaho/Northwest Nazarene University Holiday Classic in Caldwell, Idaho. On Friday night, the Bulldogs defeated Northwest Nazarene University (NNU) 72-67 in an exhibition game and the College of Idaho 66-57 in a game that counted on their record Saturday night. By Lowell Peterson The University of Montana Western picked up a pair of victories at the Annual College of Idaho/Northwest Nazarene University Holiday Classic in Caldwell, Idaho. On Friday night, the Bulldogs defeated Northwest Nazarene University (NNU) 72-67 in an exhibition game and the College of Idaho 66-57 in a game that counted on their record Saturday night. Kyle Erickson swished a three-point jumper from the left corner on Friday night with 1:20 left in the game to break a tie and put the Bulldogs on top 70-67. After two field goal attempts by the Coyotes missed the mark, Tyler Hurley made two free throws with just less than two seconds left to clinch the victory. Montana Western scored the first six points of the game and led 11-8 before Northwest Nazarene went on an 11-0 four-minute run in the middle portion of the first half. The Crusaders stretched the lead to as much as nine points and the first half ended with NNU on top 38-33. The second half saw the Crusaders maintain the lead until Cedric Clarington made two free throws to tie things at 56-all. Kyle Perry made a layup 39 seconds later to give the Bulldogs their first lead since early in the game, 58-56. Montana Western went up 66-60 when Hurley made a basket, was fouled and converted the free throw with just over four minutes remaining in the game. The Bulldogs maintained a lead until Andy Maxwell hit a three to tie things at 67-all, setting up the opportunity for Erickson’s heroics. Brandon Brown went 10-12 from the free throw line to lead the way with 22 points and Hurley was a perfect 9-9 on free throws and scored 20. Erickson, in addition to hitting the game-winning three, had 12 points, four rebounds, three assists and three steals. Four players scored in double figures for the Crusaders. Maxwell had a team-high 15 points, JB Pillard had 13 and grabbed seven rebounds, and Keith Moilanen and Anthony Golden each scored 11 points. Northwest Nazarene finished the night 13-26 (50 percent) from beyond the three point line, going 8-13 in the first half. The Bulldogs overcame the Crusaders’ hot shooting by making 24 of 31 free throws (77.4 percent). Montana Western also scored 17 points off their opponents' 15 turnovers while committing just eight themselves. On Saturday night, the Bulldogs started out fine and led 14-9 at the 9:44 mark on a Tyler Miller jumper before the wheels fell off. Over the next six minutes the Coyotes outscored the Bulldogs 14-1 to take an eight-point lead. They would lead the rest of the half and entered the break with a 27-22 advantage. Montana Western shot just 30 percent from the field (9-30) overall and an even worse 10 percent (1-10) from beyond the three point line. College of Idaho scored the first two points of the second half before Montana Western began cutting into the Coyote’s lead. The Bulldogs went on a 9-0 run to take their first lead of the second half, 31-29. After several lead changes, Montana Western went ahead for good at the 5:41 mark on another Hurley layup, 50-49. At the 2:22 mark, Tyler Young made two free throws to bring the Coyotes to within three points at 55-58. Two Tyler Miller free throws capped an 8-0 Bulldog run to put them on top by 11 points before Rodney Delgardo made an uncontested layup for the Coyotes’ final points. Brown scored 17 points and had four assists for the Bulldogs. Erickson had 13 points, seven rebounds, three assists and two steals. Miller was 6-6 from the free throw line and scored 12 points and Hurley had 10 points and seven rebounds. Three players scored in double figures for the Coyotes. Matt Ballenger had 14 points and Sydney Donaldson and Krispin Banks each scored 10. Montana Western upped their record to 9-3 on the season while College of Idaho fell to 5-8. The Bulldogs return home to play Walla Walla University at the Straugh Gymnasium in Dillon on Saturday, Dec. 17 at 7 p.m. Side note: In the first game Saturday night, Northwest Nazarene University (NNU) defeated Multnomah University 109-56. The teams combined to shoot a total of 108 three point shots. Multnomah was 14-44 (31.8 percent) and NNU set school records in both made three-point shots and attempts, going 24-64 (37.5 percent) from beyond the arc.
The University of Montana Western has launched a national search for the provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs position.