BUTTE — Thursday night's 80-72 win over Rocky Mountain College acted as a massive leap forward for the Montana Tech men's basketball team.
The victory gave the Orediggers their first conference win of the 2019-2020 season, and also served as their second straight win over the Battlin' Bears dating back to last season. But most importantly that win showed Adam Hiatt and the rest of his squad they can close out games in the final minutes. After falling behind 46-41 at halftime, Tech outscored Rocky 39-26 in the second half. A major emphasis on closing out games was put on this Oredigger squad after losing their first two conference games of the season back in December. So last night's outcome was exactly what coach Hiatt wanted to see.
“The biggest takeaway for us was that we ended the game well. That was an area we struggled with earlier in the season," said Hiatt. "In particular, our first weekend of conference play in December where we felt like we had both of those two games won and we just didn’t make the critical plays necessary to close out a game late. And so we’ve invested a lot of time into those situations and it was really fun to watch those guys execute late.”
Tech hits the road again Friday when they take on Montana Western for the first installment of the Digger-Dawg rivalry this season. They'll tip off at 7:30 right after the women tip off at 5:30 p.m.