UMW News Bureau
The University of Montana Western women’s basketball team picked up two more conference wins this past weekend against Rocky Mountain College and Dickinson State University.
The Bulldogs played on back-to-back nights Friday Jan. 18 against the Rocky Mountain Battlin’ Bears and then again on Saturday afternoon Jan. 19 against the Dickinson State Blue Hawks.
Montana Western played a tough but low scoring game against Rocky Mountain College and ended up getting the win with a score of 48-36. Neither team shot the ball well with only two three-pointers made the entire night. The Bears were 0-16 from the three while the Bulldogs were only 2-16 from three-point range.
Sammi Bignell led her team with another close double-double as she put up 14 points and nine rebounds. Kaci Matthies added eight points while Jenna Banks and Alecia Wilson both chipped in seven points apiece. Wilson also had a game-high seven assists.
On Saturday, the Bulldogs took on the Dickinson State Blue Hawks in a battle that ended in Montana Western’s favor. The score was tied nine times in this game with the lead changing 13 times. With about two minutes left in regulation, the game was tied 53-53 when Jenna Banks drove the lane and made a layup to put the Bulldogs up by two. Montana Western got a key stop on the defensive end before Roxy Thurman was fouled and sent to the free throw line for a bonus. Thurman missed the free throw but, determined to get the ball back, ran in and got her own rebound to give Montana Western another chance to score. Jenna Banks ended up with the ball and was fouled, which put her at the free throw line for bonus free throws. Banks made both of them to send the Bulldogs into a four-point win.
Although it was another slow shooting night for the Bulldogs (32 percent from the field and 33 percent from three-point range) they managed to pull out the win 57-53. Bignell and senior Brittney Leibenguth led the team in scoring, both ending the night with 13 points. Bignell ended with another double-double as she also grabbed 10 rebounds. Banks added 12 points and four assists while Thurman chipped in nine. Wilson led the team in assists with five.
The wins move the Bulldogs to a 4-3 record in conference play and 12-9 overall. Montana Western is now tied for third place in the Frontier Conference with Montana Tech, who is also 4-3 in conference.
This upcoming weekend the Bulldogs will be on the road, traveling to Billings, Mont. to take on the Battlin’ Bears again on Thursday Jan. 24. Montana Western then heads to Dickinson, N.D. to play the Dickinson State Blue Hawks on Saturday Jan. 26.