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Bulldogs Come Up Short In Clash With No. 8 Orediggers

Lindsey Branch, UMW Sports Information

BUTTE, Mont. – The Montana Western men's basketball team (8-9, 1-3) came up just shy of an upset tonight after they played the No. 8 ranked Montana Tech Orediggers (14-3, 4-0) to an 81-76 game.

Stepney led the Bulldogs with 23 points on the night. He also went a perfect 5-5 from the charity stripe.

How It Happened

A battle for position early on in the game saw the Bulldogs take a five-point lead after Michael Haverfield hit a three pointer for a 14-9 Western lead.

Tech pieced together a quick 5-0 run that was capped by a triple from Asa Williams to take the lead back from Western with 11:00 minutes remaining in the first half.

The remainder of the half continued much like the start, with neither team taking more than a five-point lead before the other would charge back to flip the lead.

Though down five with under a minute to play, Jalyn Stepney capitalized on a layup with just 12 seconds left until half. UMW would trail Tech 35-32 at the break.

Unlike the first half, the Bulldogs were slow to get going as the Orediggers ran on an 11-2 scoring run through the first four minutes of the second half.

Trailing 46-37, Western found their spark behind Stepney who hit a pair of triples on back-to-back possessions. A pair of layups from Christian Pitcher coupled with a free throw from Haverfield got the Bulldogs right back in it, tied up at 51 all.

The power struggle continued down the stretch, seeing neither team pull away and a perfect storm for a battle to the end.

Despite a three from Stepney that cut the game within four, the Bulldogs were unable to overcome the Orediggers in the amount of time left and fell 81-76.


  • So far this season, Western is 4-7 in games that have been decided by 10 points or less.

  • Both teams were neck and neck in shooting, with the Bulldogs taking the slightest edge after they hit 45.8 percent from the field. The Orediggers hit 45.5 percent from the field.

  • Western struggled from the charity stripe, hitting just 13 of 20 from the line.

  • Stepney led the way with 23 points, hitting four of six from the three-point line. He also added three rebounds and a steal.

  • Haverfield and Abi Adedo each hit double-digits in scoring. Haverfield totaled 15 points on four out of nine threes. Adedo added 14 points.

Up Next

Montana Western moves to 1-3 in conference play and will be returning to the Straugh Gymnasium this Saturday with a game against RV Rocky Mountain College. Tip-off is at 4pm MT.

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