Montana Western men, women sweep visiting Rocky Mountain College

DILLON — The Montana Western men’s and women’s basketball teams swept visiting Rocky Mountain College in Frontier Conference play on Saturday night in Dillon. The third-ranked Western women survived a cold-shooting night to top No. 21 Rocky, 59-55, while the Western men upset 21st-ranked Rocky, 80-79.

No. 3 Montana Western women 59, No. 21 Rocky Mountain College 55

The third-ranked Montana Western women’s basketball team bounced back from Thursday’s loss to Carroll College, holding off No. 21 Rocky Mountain College at home on Saturday night, 59-55, in Frontier Conference basketball action.

Rocky started the game hot, building an eight-point advantage less than midway through the first quarter. But the Bulldogs rallied and built a 10-point lead of their own with just more than five minutes remaining in the first half. Despite shooting just 41.4 percent in the first half, Western carried a 31-29 lead into halftime.

Rocky’s turnovers would ultimately allow Western to stay ahead throughout the second half, as the Bears had 19 turnovers in the game, which the Bulldogs turned into 23 points. Rocky, though, was able to stay within striking distance of the Bulldogs by grabbing 10 offensive rebounds.

But the Bulldogs iced the game at the free throw line, going 7 for 7 in the second half. Western sits at 21-2 overall, 12-2 Frontier Conference with the win. The Bulldogs play at home on Valentine’s Day against Montana Tech.

Rocky falls to 16-10, 7-7. The Battlin’ Bears host the University of Providence on Feb. 14.

Montana Western men 80, No. 21 Rocky Mountain College 79

No. 21 Rocky Mountain College hit a cold spell in the second half, costing the Battlin’ Bears a Frontier Conference men’s basketball game against Montana Western, 80-79.

Rocky shot just 35.5 percent in the second half, including a 0-for-11 performance from beyond the arc, after shooting 53 percent in the opening half.

Rocky led by as many as 13 early in the first half, but Western was able to chip away as the Bears cooled off from the floor. Cedric Boone led the charge for Western with 19 points. Kooper Kidgell added 17. Kidgell shot 13 free throws, half of Western’s 26, but made just 7.

Western improves to 8-17 overall, 2-12 Frontier Conference. The Bulldogs are in action again Feb. 14 at Montana Tech. Rocky falls to 16-10, 7-7. The Bears host the University of Providence on Feb. 14.

Alec Bofinger

Alec Bofinger

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