BUTTE — The Montana Tech men's basketball team now has the inside track toward defending its Frontier Conference title.
Asa Williams and Caleb Bellach each piled up 21 points as the No. 12 Orediggers rolled to an 86-61 win over Montana Western on Thursday at the HPER Complex — winning the regular season series 2-1 — to improve to 8-3 in the Frontier Conference Standings.
With Providence losing to Rocky Mountain College and falling to 7-4 in league play, Tech now has a one-game lead and inside track toward the regular season crown with four games remaining.
The Ordiggers led 37-29 at halftime before Western opened the second half with an 8-0 run to tie the game. The teams then exchanged three more ties before a 3-pointer from Asa Williams — one of his five triples on the night — put Tech in the lead for good at 49-46 with 13:46 remaining.
Michael Ure added 14 points and seven rebounds for Tech and Hayden Diekhans scored 10 points.
For Western, the loss was its sixth in a row, a skid that began with a loss to Tech at home on January 14. The Bulldogs fell to 8-16 overall and 3-8 in conference play.
In the women's game, No. 15 Montana Western cruised to a 71-47 win over Tech to complete the regular season sweep over the Orediggers. The Bulldogs also improved to 9-2 in the Frontier to keep pace with league leader No. 11 Carroll College. Both of Western's loss came to the Saints, who travel to Dillon on Saturday for what will be a critical game.
Brynley Fitzgerald led Western with 26 points and seven rebounds and Emily Cooley added 10 points and six boards. Joelnell Momberg chipped in nine points.
Tech (7-14 overall, 3-8 in the Frontier) got 11 points and five rebounds from Aubrie Rademacher and 10 point and six boards from Tavia Rooney.
The Orediggers remain home and host Rocky Mountain College on Saturday.