UMW News BureauMandy Machinal, a 5-foot-7 freshman guard from Richland, Wash., scored a career-high 37 points to lead the Montana Tech Orediggers over the Montana Western Bulldog women 84-71 Saturday night in Butte. By Lowell Peterson Mandy Machinal, a 5-foot-7 freshman guard from Richland, Wash., scored a career-high 37 points to lead the Montana Tech Orediggers over the Montana Western Bulldog women 84-71 Saturday night in Butte. After Montana Western’s Hayley Pettit scored the first two points of the game, Kelsey DeWit tied things up by grabbing an offensive rebound and scoring at the rim. The next three baskets the Orediggers would score would be on layups before Machinal hit her first three-pointer of the game to put Tech on top 13-5. The Orediggers stayed hot and built their lead to 38-21 on a three point basket by Bryn Hasquet with 5:12 to play in the first half. Montana Western, in a deep hole after another slow start, went on a 19-2 run to cut the lead to four points, 36-40, with forty-nine seconds to play before Hasquet drilled a three-pointer for Tech giving the Orediggers a 43-36 lead at halftime. Pettit was the lone offensive force for the Bulldogs, finishing with 15 first half points. Machinal (19) and Hasquet (11) combined to score 30 first half points, making 11 of 12 field goal attempts including all six of their three point attempts. Pettit made two free throws and Sammi Bignell scored a basket to start the second half and pull the Bulldogs to within three points, 40-43. That was as close as Montana Western would get. Tech went on a 10-0 run to go up 53-40 at the 16:02 mark and maintained a double-figure lead the rest of the game. Pettit was the only Bulldog to score in double figures netting 23 points. She was also the leader in rebounds with eight and steals with three. Nicole Tams and Alecia Wilson each scored nine points and Kassi Kerbs and Kaci Matthies scored seven apiece. As a team Montana Western shot .443 (27-61) from the field, .273 (3-11) on three pointers and .583 (14-24) from the free throw line. For the Orediggers Machinal had a game all basketball players dream of having. In addition to scoring 37 points, she had an almost perfect shooting night. Machinal only missed two shots on the night from the field and went 14-14 from the free throw line. DeWit and Hasquet also shot extremely well and each finished with 14 points. Dannielle Devenny was the leading rebounder with 10 and Tabitha Tomlinson was the assists leader with five. Montana Tech was .528 (28-53) from the field, .556 (10-18) from beyond the three point line and .947 (18-19) on free throws. “Tech definitely deserved the win tonight,” said Montana Western head coach Cara Cocchiarella. “They were very good offensively and they did a good job executing on defense. I was proud of our girls, and I don’t think they ever gave up, but we have to play better than that to win in this conference.” The victory by Montana Tech avenged an earlier 63-40 nonconference loss to the Bulldogs on November 1, 2011 in Dillon. The Bulldogs held the Orediggers to just 14 second half points in that game. “This team tonight was ten times the team we were in November at their place,” said Montana Tech head coach Kerie DePell. “We knew we had to put together our best game to compete with them, but then it always helps to have a special individual performance.” Montana Western fell to 12-6 on the season overall and are tied with Montana State-Northern for fifth in the Frontier Conference with a 2-3 record. The Orediggers improved to 8-9 overall and 3-2 (tied for third with Rocky Mountain) in the conference.
The University of Montana Western has launched a national search for the provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs position.