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NAIA men's national tournament: Montana Tech missteps against SAGU

Posted at 7:03 PM, Mar 12, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-12 21:07:22-05

ALEXANDRIA, La. — A historic season for the Montana Tech Orediggers men came to a close on Saturday in the second round of the NAIA men's national basketball tournament against the Southwestern Assemblies of God Lions, 77-63.

Tech struggled to shoot and rebound effectively in the first half only shooting just over 32% from the floor and being outrebounded by the Lions 23-14.

The Lions spread the ball and shot effectively shooting 50% from the floor with seven assists to Tech's single assist in the first half.

SAGU's Nykolas Mason was a thorn in the side of Tech notching 13 points with Joel Polius adding eight more including a block and assist in the first half.

In the second half, the Orediggers found their stride and cut the deficit to just seven points on a Keeley Bake 3-pointer with a shade under 11 minutes to play in the game, but the Lions were a tough team to take down on their home court as the opening round site host.

The Oredigger momentum in the second half was short-lived as SAGU's offensive found their footing and ballooned the lead to 20 with under three minutes to go, ultimately sealing Montana Tech's fate.

Caleb Bellach led the way for Montana Tech in scoring with 17 points, while Taylor England recorded a double-double with 16 points and 13 rebounds.

With the loss, the Montana Tech men's season comes to a close at 27-7 and finished the season ranked 14th in the NAIA Men's basketball national rankings.