UMW News BureauThe University of Montana Western Bulldogs men’s basketball team defeated the Carroll College Fighting Saints 78-67 in front of a standing-room-only crowd Friday night in the Straugh Gymnasium. By Lowell Peterson The University of Montana Western Bulldogs men’s basketball team defeated the Carroll College Fighting Saints 78-67 in front of a standing-room-only crowd Friday night in the Straugh Gymnasium. The game, billed as Casey Keltz night, honored the former longtime Western coach with a pre-game ceremony that included a group of his former Bulldog players. Keltz, in a Billings hospital dealing with health issues, was not able to attend the game but was able to watch the ceremony and game via webcast, made possible by Lyon Productions which broadcasts Frontier Conference basketball games over the internet. Thanks to current technology, Keltz was also able to address the crowd by cell phone over the gym’s public announcement system. After Andy Garland hit a three-pointer to give Carroll an 11-8 lead, Tyler Hurley scored in the paint and Brandon Brown hit a three to put Montana Western back on top 13-11 at the 11:40 mark of the first half. It gave the Bulldogs a lead they would not relinquish the rest of the night. Back-to-back baskets by Tyler Miller pushed the lead to 14 points with three minutes to play and the half ended with the Bulldogs leading 34-25. The Bulldogs maintained the lead and still led by 11 points when the Saints went on a 9-2 run capped off by a Daniel Pearson three point shot to cut the lead to four points, 51-47, with 11:14 to play. Montana Western responded with a 13-4 run ignited by eight points from Brown to put the Bulldogs back on top 64-51 with six minutes to play. Montana Western maintained the double-digit lead the rest of the game. The game featured a matchup between two current NAIA All-Americans, Brown of Montana Western and Garland of Carroll, and both players displayed the skills that earned them All-American status. Garland scored 30 points and Brown scored 29 to lead their respective teams, but it was Bulldog senior Kyle Erickson who stole the show. Erickson just missed recording a triple-double on the night, scoring 11 points, dishing out 10 assists and grabbing nine rebounds. Erickson also blocked four shots, had two steals and exhibited his usual high-energy game both offensively and defensively. In addition to his 29 points, Brown hauled down eight rebounds, had three assists and two steals. Tyler Hurley scored 11 points and had four assists. Tyler Miller and Jake Owsley each scored nine points. On the night the Bulldog team blocked 10 Carroll shots (Owsley and Kyle Perry each blocking three). As a team Montana Western shot .527 (29-55) from the field, .111 (2-18) on three pointers and .720 (18-25) from the free throw line. Garland led the Saints on the night, missing only two shots from the field and making all four of his free throws. In addition to his 30 points he also matched teammate Daniel Pearson with a team-high seven rebounds. Pearson also had three steals. Ben Cutler was the only other Saint to score in double figures on the night netting 18 points. Tony Dalton was the assists leader with five. Carroll was .452 (28-62) from the field, .250 (5-20) from beyond the three point line and .857 (6-7) on free throws. Montana Western (5-1, 17-5) hosts Rocky Mountain College (3-3, 10-11) Saturday night at home in the Straugh Gymnasium in Dillon at 7:30 p.m. Carroll (2-4, 9-9) travels to Butte to play Montana Tech (2-4, 10-7) in the HYPER Center, also at 7:30 p.m. Rocky defeated Tech 83-70 Friday night in Butte.
The University of Montana Western has launched a national search for the provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs position.