The #12 Montana Tech men stretched their winning streak out to 9 straight games with a 78-55 win over Rocky Mountain College in Billings Thursday night. The win was also the 14th straight win for the Orediggers over the Battlin Bears, dating back to February 22, 2019.

It was a seesaw battle through the first 20 minutes of the contest, the largest lead coming off a Keeley Bake layup with 6:29 left to play, which put the Diggs up 26-19. Otherwise, the first half was played within a 3-4 point spread.

Keeley Bake running the point. Picture courtesy of BnO Photography. BRIANNA OMARA
Keeley Bake running the point. Picture courtesy of BnO Photography. BRIANNA OMARA
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In the first half, Tech was led by Caleb Bellach with 12 points, on 5-9 shooting. Asa Williams was in the book with 8 points as well. One big factor in the first half (and the game overall) is Tech’s shooting percentage. As a team, the Diggs shot 49% in the first half (and 50% for the game)

Caleb Bellach- jumper- Picture courtesy of BnO Photography. BRIANNA OMARA
Caleb Bellach- jumper- Picture courtesy of BnO Photography. BRIANNA OMARA
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Tech’s defense took over in the second half, holding Rocky to 29% shooting from the floor, and 14% from the arc. They out-rebounded Rocky 18-11 and caused 7 turnovers in the back 20 minutes. The second half also had the first (and only) significant run of the game, when Tech outscored the Bears 23-9 over the final 9 minutes of play, to hang a W in the win column.

Rocky’s Maxim Stephens ended as the Bears leading scorer, knocking down 24 points. He was also the only Bear to shoot free throws going 12-13 from the line. Kael Robinson netted 19 for the Battlin' Bears. Rocky’s men drop to 2-5 in conference and 10-9 overall.

Caleb Bellach finished the game as the leading scorer knocking down 26 points. (It’s the 7th time this year he has gone for over 20) Asa Williams continues to roll, putting 16 points in the book, Hayden Diekhans gets 11, and Big Bridger Larson stomped out a double-double, with 10 points- 10 rebounds. Tech remains in first place in the Frontier with a 6-1 mark, and 18-2 overall.

Asa Williams controlling the rock-Picture courtesy of BnO Photography. BRIANNA OMARA
Asa Williams controlling the rock-Picture courtesy of BnO Photography. BRIANNA OMARA
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Next up for the Diggs, Carroll College. The Saints are coming off a huge win (and necessary win) in Dillon on Thursday over the Bulldogs. Andrew Cook shot 73% in the game and finished with 31 points in the win. Brendan Temple ended with a double-double, 16 points and 10 rebounds for the Saints.

The first meeting between these two went the way of the Orediggers, 86-79. The Diggs had 4 guys in double digits, led by Wiliams with 21, Bellach had 19, Diekhans with 18, and Keeley Bake put down a dozen.

Going back over the last 10 meetings between Tech and Carroll, the home team has won all but once. That one road win? February 28, 2022. Tech 62 Carroll 61 in Helena for the Frontier Conference crown.

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