BUTTE — Both reigning Frontier Conference champion teams delivered convincing victories on Thursday evening in Butte.
The Rocky Mountain College women and No. 12 Montana Tech men both won by double digits in their conference openers at the HPER Complex.
Rocky women 59, Montana Tech 42
Gracee Lekvold poured in a game-high 14 points, Morgan Baird had 13 and Kloie Thatcher scored 11 points against her hometown college as the Battlin' Bears — coming off a quarterfinal appearance in the NAIA national tournament last season — used a big third quarter to pull away from Montana Tech 59-42.
Rocky (5-3, 1-0 Frontier) led just 21-17 at the half but outscored the Orediggers 22-12 in the third quarter to head into the final quarter with a comfortable 14-point lead.
Tech (2-5, 0-1) was led by 13 points from Aubrie Rademacher, the only Oredigger to score in double digits. Madison Allen added seven points and Liv Wangerin had five. Dani Urick and Tavia Rooney each collected seven rebounds for Tech.
Montana Tech men 82, Rocky 59
The Montana Tech men showed that their No. 12 national ranking is no fluke.
Caleb Bellach piled up a game-high 18 points, Michael Ure had 14 and Asa Williams and Hayden Diekhans each added 13 as the Orediggers (9-1, 1-0) blew past the Battlin' Bears 82-59 to start off their conference title defense with a win.
Tech, which led from beginning to end, built a 37-18 halftime lead and didn't let Rocky get closer than within 17-points of a tie after the break.
Diekhans came close to a double-double, adding nine rebounds to go with his 13 points. Bridger Larson added nine points and seven rebounds for Tech.
Rocky (5-3, 0-1) was paced by 13 points from Jesse Owens, 10 from Kael Robinson and nine from Tayshawun Bradford.
The Montana Tech men and women will travel to Montana Western on Saturday while both Battlin' Bears squad will host Providence that same day.