UMW News BureauThe Montana Western men's basketball team picked up two wins over the weekend while the women dropped two. By Lowell Peterson The Montana Western men's basketball team picked up two wins over the weekend while the women dropped two. On Friday, Dec. 17, 12 Montana Western players on the men's team entered the scoring column against the Concordia College Thunder in a game the Bulldogs had wrapped up by halftime. After building a lead of 55-27 at the half, UMW outscored the Thunder 40-27 in the second stanza to coast to an easy 95-54 victory. No Bulldog played more than 24 minutes in the game and 13 players saw action. Brandon Brown led the way with 18 points, 15 of which came in the first half. Cody Thueringer scored 10 of his 14 points in the opening period and Jared Smithson hit a pair of three-point shots in each half to finish with 12 points. Gabe Rucker was perfect on the night hitting on both a two-point and three-point shot as well as nailing all four of his free throw attempts. He ended with nine points. Mark Lussier and Souleymane Diedhiou each scored seven points. It was Diedhiou’s and teammate Bridger Chambers’ first action of the year for UMW. The two Kyles, Erickson and Perry, each scored six points. Perry was the leading rebounder with nine and Tyler Hurley added seven boards. Montana Western once again shot the ball well hitting on 36 of 67 field goal attempts (just under 54 percent) and 10 of 25 from beyond the three-point line (40 percent). The Bulldogs made 13 of 19 from the foul line. Defensively the Bulldogs limited the Thunder to just 19 of 56 shooting (33.9 percent) and held Concordia to just two of 19 from the three-point line. The win upped the Bulldogs’ record to 10-3 on the season. Editor's note: The Montana Western-Dickinson State women's basketball game correspondence is adapted from a story by the Dickinson Press. The Bulldog women faced the Dickinson State University Blue Hawks on Saturday, Dec. 18 in Dickinson, N.D. The Blue Hawks snapped a three-game skid and remained unbeaten at home this season with a 70-67 victory over Montana Western during the Ramada Classic. The Blue Hawks have won all four of their home games, but the Bulldogs battled the entire way. Finally, after 19 lead changes and 15 ties, DSU senior guard Kelsey Boedeker drained a three-pointer from the right wing with one minute remaining to give the Blue Hawks a 67-65 lead, which they would not relinquish. The Blue Hawk's Kylee Bittner added 13 points and Mandy Mullock scored 12, including a driving layup with 27 seconds left that put DSU ahead 69-65 and proved to clinch the game. Mullock had been one of 6 from the field in the second half up to that point. The Blue Hawks (5-6) struggled from the field, shooting just 24 of 63 (38 percent). They were 16 of 26 from the free-throw line. Boedeker was 8 of 8. Montana Western shot 31 of 60 (52 percent) and out-rebounded the Blue Hawks 48-28. The Bulldogs (3-8) reclaimed the lead at 62-61 late in the second half when Sammi Bignell scored in the lane off an in-bounds pass. That play started a back-and-forth battle that lasted until Boedeker's go-ahead 3. Montana Western was led by Nicole Tams, who scored 14 points and kept the Bulldogs within reach by scoring on three consecutive trips down the floor midway through the second half. Laurie Geis had 12 points and nine rebounds off the bench while Chloe Mosey added 12 points and Roxanne Thurman scored 11 points and had six rebounds. Bignell had nine points and seven rebounds. While the Bulldogs, who lost their sixth straight game, dominated the smaller Blue Hawks in the post, Montana Western head coach Cara Cocchiarella said DSU's uptempo style became her team's undoing. "They kept the pressure on us offensively," Cocchiarella said. "They really pushed the ball and were aggressive the whole game. They made us defend them to the very end. They made some really good plays and we weren't able to stop them at times." Meanwhile, on Saturday in Dillon, Mont., the men's basketball team faced the Minot State University Beavers. The Montana Western prevailed 66-54. A low-scoring first half ended when Minot State guard Kal Bay threw in a half-court two-handed chest shot at the buzzer cutting the Bulldogs' lead to four points at 24-20. Montana Western went 0-6 from behind the three-point line, which was the first time all season they ended a half without making a long distance shot. The Bulldogs shot a season worst 14.3 percent, converting only two of 14 three-pointers. Montana Western’s free throw shooting touch was also cold. As a team they made just 14 of 26 (53.8 percent). Minot State's Nathaniel Packineau started the second half scoring with a three-pointer to bring Minot State to within one point at 24-23. That would be as close as the Beavers would get on the evening. Over the next 3.5 minutes the Bulldogs went on a 16-0 run to push the score to 40-23 and take control of the game. Their largest lead would be 19 points, 49-30, at the 12:16 mark. The closest Minot would get thereafter would be eight points. Four players scored in double figures for the Bulldogs. Tyler Hurley led the way with 19 points, Brandon Brown scored 16, Cody Thueringer had 13, and Kyle Perry finished with 11. Brown led in assists with six and Perry and Kyle Erickson each grabbed seven rebounds. Thueringer also blocked three shots. Only one player scored in double figures for Minot State. Shawn Storseth came off the bench to score 12 points in just over 13 minutes of action. Packineau added nine points and Bay finished the night with eight. The Beavers record fell to 4-8 on the season. They are 3-4 against Frontier Conference schools, losing for the second time to Montana Western. The Bulldogs, ranked number 22 in NAIA Division I, improved to 11-3 on the season. Montana Western will close out their non conference schedule with a home game against King’s University on Monday night, Dec. 20, at 7:30 p.m. in the Straugh Gymnasium. The Bulldog women, who are 3-8 on the season, also play Monday night in the Straugh Gymnasium against The King’s University at 5:30 p.m. Both teams are inviting the public to gain free admittance to these home games by wearing a festive holiday shirt or sweater or by bringing a non-perishable food donation.
The University of Montana Western has launched a national search for the provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs position.