The Montana Tech bench erupts in celebration during the second half. (TOM WYLIE/MTN Sports)

GREAT FALLS, Mont. – The No. 14 University of Providence women’s basketball team shot the ball fairly well against Montana Tech, but other than that, there wasn’t much that went the Lady Argo’s way in a 90-62 loss to Montana Tech. Tech’s 90 points were the most scored on the Lady Argos all year, and UP had its second most turnovers of the year with 23.

Tech started the game on a 7-0 run and despite a few good post touches from freshman Parker Esary, the Orediggers built a 10 point lead as the first half wound down. As tried to keep feeding Esary, Tech’s defense focused its attention on denying entry passes and the Lady Argos struggled to get her the ball without turning it over for the rest of the night.

Perhaps the most shocking development throughout the game was Tech’s ability to outrebound a Lady Argo squad that ranks 9th in the NAIA in rebounding margin. By the end of the first half, the Diggers had 20 boards to UP’s 14, including 8 offensive rebounds.

The second half played out largely the same as the first, with UP struggling to hang on to the ball and Tech scoring almost at will. Through three quarter, UP’s senior guard Stephanie McDonagh had scored 16 of the team’s 39 points.

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Despite all the team’s troubles, the Lady Argos shot over 40 percent from the field and shot 42 percent from behind the 3-point line.

Shay Potter led the Diggers with 16 points and nine rebounds, while Hannah Sparks and Mesa Williams each pitched in 10. Tech shot 51% from the field and only turned the ball over eight times. Montana Tech recorded 15 steals.

Esary tallied up her fourth career double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds and added 2 blocks and 2 steals on the defensive end.

The loss ends a six game winning streak for the Lady Argos who technically will still hold the lone first place spot in the Frontier Conference with a record of 15-4 (6-2) but that will likely end in a tie soon with both Carroll College and Rocky Mountain College sitting at 5-2 and playing on Saturday.

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