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Men's basketball earns split at Rocky Mountain Tournament

UMW News Bureau

The University of Montana Western Bulldogs lost in Billings, Mont. Friday night to third-ranked Robert Morris University 80-68 but bounced back to defeat Evergreen State on Saturday 90-68 at the Fortin Center on the Rocky Mountain College campus. By Lowell Peterson The University of Montana Western Bulldogs lost in Billings, Mont. Friday night to third-ranked Robert Morris University 80-68 but bounced back to defeat Evergreen State on Saturday 90-68 at the Fortin Center on the Rocky Mountain College campus. Robert Morris knocked down eight three-point shots in the first half to build an eight-point lead going into the break. Montana Western made four out of five long-range shots but did not capitalize from the free throw line, making just eight of 13. Free throw shooting did not improve for the Bulldogs in the second half and they ended the game making just 52.6 percent of their charity tosses (10-19). Down 65-60 in the later stages of the game, the Bulldogs had an open three-point shot miss the mark, which could have cut the lead to two points. Frustration leading to a technical foul gave the momentum back to the Eagles and they held off the Bulldogs the rest of the way. Brandon Brown scored 22 points and Tyler Hurley added 20 to lead the Bulldogs in scoring. Cedric Clarington scored 16 points and had a team-high seven rebounds. Tori Boyd led the Eagles with 23 points, Tremell Adams added 18 and Diante Watkins finished with 16. Aubrey McAlpine had nine points and nine rebounds. Last season Montana Western lost to Robert Morris 77-76 in the first round at the NAIA national tournament in Kansas City, Mo. The game also featured first team All-American point guards Brown and Watkins in their second head-to-head meeting. Saturday night the Bulldogs broke the game open early in the second half to cruise on to an easy victory against Evergreen State Geoducks. Montana Western went on a 13-2 run in the first four minutes of the second half to take control of the game at the 16:02 mark, 52-33. A three pointer by Gabe Rucker pushed the lead to a game-high 35 points with 8:54 to play. The Geoducks made a run against the Bulldog bench to make the game seem closer than it was. Montana Western played five guards in the last six minutes of the game enabling Evergreen State to close to within 20 points with less than a minute to play. Brown led the Bulldogs in scoring with 21 points, Hurley added 17 and Kyle Erickson scored 14. Clarington recorded a double-double with 18 points and 10 rebounds. He also had a team-high five assists. The Geoducks were led by Marice Tolliver’s 14 points and eight rebounds. Mike DeRosier and Elzie Dickens each scored 12 points. Montana Western improved to 6-2 on the season. The Bulldogs' next two games are against Dickinson State in Dickinson, N.D. on Nov. 25 and 26.
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