UMW News BureauThe University of Montana Western's Jenna Banks converted a turnover into a layup and Sammi Bignell hit a three-pointer to open up a 5-0 lead as Montana Western went on to defeat Dickinson State in women's basketball 70-52 on Friday, Oct. 28. By Lowell Peterson The University of Montana Western's Jenna Banks converted a turnover into a layup and Sammi Bignell hit a three-pointer to open up a 5-0 lead as Montana Western went on to defeat Dickinson State in women's basketball 70-52 on Friday, Oct. 28. The Montana Western Bulldogs never trailed in the game and steadily built the lead over the Blue Hawks. With the score 9-5, freshman Kaci Matthies (six) and sophomore Roxy Thurman (five) scored the next 11 Bulldog points to increase the lead to 20-10. The closest Dickinson would get again in the opening stanza was seven points and the half ended with Montana Western on top, 42-32. The Bulldogs remained in control throughout the second half and extended the lead to a high of 21 points. A move made earlier in the week by head coach Cara Cocchiarella paid immediate dividends. Cocchiarella moved Alicia Wilson to the four position, started Banks at point guard and brought Kelsey Callaghan out of redshirt to back up Banks. The offensive rotation was effective and the defense was especially strong in the second half, limiting Dickinson to 20 points. Nicole Tams had 16 points to lead the scoring effort and Bignell finished with 14. Hayley Pettit was the top rebounder with 11 and she also added seven points and two blocked shots. Kassi Kerbs had a perfect shooting night making all three of her field goal attempts (including 1-1 on threes) and both free throws to score nine points. Wilson led the team in assists with six. All 13 Bulldogs got playing time and no player played more than 26 minutes. Kylee Bittner was the only Blue Hawk to score in double figures with 18. Bittner made 5-of-9 three attempts on the night. Dawne Degel, who played high school ball down the road at Sheridan High, had 10 rebounds and Ashley Jelly handed out six assists. The game was the season opener for Dickinson State (0-1) while the Bulldogs' record remained perfect at 3-0. The Bulldogs host Montana Tech on Tuesday, Nov. 1 at 7 p.m. in a non-conference game in the Straugh Gym. Montana Western then begins a long road schedule with an exhibition game at Idaho State on Nov. 5 in Pocatello, Idaho. The Bulldogs will not play at home again until conference play begins on Jan. 6 against Lewis-Clark State.
The University of Montana Western has launched a national search for the provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs position.