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Bulldogs Fall In Frontier Semifinal After Gritty Battle With No. 8 Orediggers

Lindsey Branch, UMW Sports Information photo credit Terri Haverfield

GREAT FALLS, Mont. – The Montana Western men's basketball team (14-16, 6-9) battled with the No. 8 ranked Montana Tech Orediggers to the final buzzer, falling by a final score of 83-82.


UMW put up one of their strongest second halves this season, outscoring the Orediggers 49-42 in the second frame. Despite the advantage, the Orediggers utilized an 18-6 scoring advantage at the end of the first half to take an early edge.



How it Happened

Western jumped out to an early lead, riding behind back-to-back threes from Michael Haverfield and Jalyn Stepney to take an early 12-6 lead in the first five minutes of the matchup.


Quincy Taylor's triple with 10 minutes on the clock pushed the Bulldog lead to 18-13. Montana Tech answered, finding success behind a pair of threes to take the lead at 23-18.


Haverfield capped a short 9-0 run with six minutes to play to bring the score back to 27-23. Despite the lead, momentum shifted and the Orediggers were able to force four Bulldogs turnovers and outscore Western 18-6 down the stretch to take a 41-33 lead at the half.


Jacob Ankeny and Kevin Bethel combined for 10 in a 16-1 run that flipped the lead back in favor of the Bulldogs at the start of the second half.


The game of runs continued down the stretch, with both teams battling for position. Taylor hit a late three and added a pair of free throws with under two minutes to go, but favor fell on the Orediggers' Ifeanyi Okeke tipped a missed shot in with six seconds remaining to take the final lead at 83-32.



Notables

  • The Bulldogs outshot the Orediggers across the game 56.6 to 51.7 percent from the field. They also hit 11 three-pointers and hit 61.1 percent from the arc.

  • Despite the positive shooting performance, Western racked up 18 turnovers in the game after the Orediggers grabbed a total of 13 steals.

  • Haverfield led the Bulldogs with 22 points on a 4-6 performance from the arc and a perfect 4-4 from the charity stripe. He also added three rebounds and a pair of steals.

  • Abi Adedo totaled 14 points and eight boards with a pair of blocks.

  • Taylor followed with 13 points on a 3-5 three-point performance and added a pair of rebounds.

Final Notes

The Bulldogs close their season with a final record of 14-16 and a conference record of 6-9. Four Bulldogs averaged over 10 points per game this season with Jalyn Stepney leading with 16.2 points per game.



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