UMW News BureauThe Montana Western Bulldogs drained nine first-half three-pointers, building a 39-28 first-half lead that helped them hold off a determined Montana Tech Oredigger squad. The Bulldogs finished with a 77-65 victory. By Lowell Peterson & Brett Morehouse Despite leading the Montana Tech Orediggers for the majority of the game, the University of Montana Western women’s basketball team fell victim to another late-game run that resulted in a 79-67 loss on Wednesday night, Jan. 19 The Bulldogs came out aggressively and took control of the game following a put-back by sophomore post Hayley Pettit, which made the score 6-5 in favor of Montana Western. Montana Western would push that lead to as many as seven points in the first half before a late run by Montana Tech trimmed the lead to one as the teams headed to the locker rooms at halftime. The second half proved to be extremely entertaining as both teams traded offensive bursts. The Bulldogs would once again push the lead to seven points thanks to a corner three-point shot by junior guard Nicole Tams. The lead would be short lived, however, as Tech immediately answered with a three-pointer of their own. With just over five minutes to play, Montana Tech went back in front thanks to a traditional three-point play by Tech post Kelsey DeWitt. It would be a lead that Tech would not relinquish. Montana Tech senior guard Taesha Higbee continued her strong conference play with a 28-point, 13-rebound performance. She was followed by Meghan Eisenmann with 16 points, Kelsey DeWitt with 12 points and Tabitha Tomlinson with 10. Despite shooting only 33 percent from the field, Montana Western placed four players in double-digit scoring. Sophomore Kassi Kerbs nailed four three-pointers on her way to a team-leading 14 points. Senior Chloe Mosey and freshman Sammi Bignell contributed 12 points each, and sophomore Rheanna Padden added 11. Hayley Pettit once again led the Bulldogs on the boards, collecting 10 rebounds. Montana Western now stands at 5-12 overall and 1-4 in the Frontier Conference. The women will be off this weekend before returning to conference play on Jan. 27 in Helena, Mont. to take on the Carroll College Fighting Saints. Tip-off is scheduled for 6 p.m. The Montana Western Bulldogs men's team drained nine first-half three-pointers, building a 39-28 first-half lead that helped them hold off a determined Montana Tech Oredigger squad. The Bulldogs finished with a 77-65 victory. The Bulldogs had four players score in double figures. Mark Lussier led the way with a career high 16 points, knocking down four of eight from behind the three-point line. Brandon Brown and Cody Thueringer each scored 14 and Jared Smithson came off the bench to add 11, making three of his five three-point attempts. Brown led the way with seven assists and Kyle Perry grabbed a team high seven rebounds, blocked three shots and scored seven points. Tyler Hurley scored eight points and corralled six boards while Kyle Erickson scored seven points and had a team high three steals. The Orediggers had three players score in double digits. Dirk Anderson led the way with 17 points, Kellen Hasquet finished with 16 and Tyree Haynie added 15. Hasquet was the top rebounder with six. Both teams had an excellent night from the free throw line. The Bulldogs hit on 19 of 22 attempts at 86.4 percent, while Tech converted 19 of 24 at 79.2 percent. Montana Western improved to 3-2 in conference play and stands at 15-5 overall. Tech dropped to 2-3 in the conference and 4-14 overall. Both teams are off until Jan. 27 when the Bulldogs travel to Helena to face Carroll College and the Orediggers journey to Billings to meet Rocky Mountain College. The teams swap opponents on Jan. 29 at the respective locations.