UMW News Bureau
The University of Montana Western women’s basketball defeated the University of Calgary Dinos in back-to-back games Friday and Saturday, Dec. 7 and 8.
The Dinos were 14-3 overall and 9-1 in conference play coming into the games.
On Dec. 7, Sammi Bignell lead the Bulldogs’ 58-45 win with 17 points and four assists. Both Roxy Thurman and Brittney Leibenguth chipped in 11 points apiece. Kaci Matthies grabbed seven boards and Alecia Wilson led assists with six. The Bulldogs also forced the Dinos into 33 turnovers on the game.
“We put together the best half of basketball to date this season in the first half,” head coach Lindsay Woolley said. “We were disciplined defensively and did a very good job of executing our game-plan. In the second half, we had too many mental lapses and Calgary was aggressive on both ends of the floor, especially in the last 10 minutes. I am hopeful this game will help us be able to close out games and execute for the full 40 minutes once we get to conference play.”
On Dec. 8, the Dinos were looking for revenge and started the game out on a 25-4 run. Montana Western had a hard time taking care of the ball in the first half, turning it over 14 times. The Bulldogs went into halftime down by 11 points.
Montana Western took much better care of the ball in the second half, turning it over only three times. The score was tied six different times and the lead changed five times during the game. Free throws, and a big three by Birttney Leibenguth, put Montana Western on top with a score of 56-52.
Senior Alecia Wilson led the way in the second game with a double-double performance. Wilson ended the game with 16 points, 10 rebounds, three steals and was 12-14 from the free throw line. Sammi Bignell was just one rebound away from a double-double with nine rebounds and 12 points. Senior Kassie Kerbs also chipped in 10 points.
“I was very proud of our resiliency the second night,” Woolley added. “We didn’t find any rhythm offensively, but we buckled down on the defensive end and did a nice job of working our way back into the game after digging ourselves such a big hole.”
The two wins move the Bulldogs to an overall record of 7-5 on the season. Montana Western will have a few days off from games before they hit the road to take on the Montana State University of Billings Yellow Jackets on Dec. 19.