BUTTE — The No. 22 Rocky Mountain College women and No. 12 Montana Tech men both held on and earned single-digit Frontier Conference victories on Saturday at the HPER Complex.
In the women's game, the Battlin' Bears held off an Oredigger squad that overcame a double-digit deficit and eventually led by four points late in the fourth quarter. Rocky made all four of its final free throws in the waning seconds and pulled out a 59-54 victory to move to 17-7 overall and 9-3 in conference play.
With No. 11 Carroll College besting No. 15 Montana Western, the Saints have a two-game lead over both the Bulldogs and Battlin' Bears with three games remaining in the regular season.
Butte Central product Kloie Thatcher and Ky Buell each had 13 points for Rocky, Gracee Lekvold turned in a 12-point, seven-rebound performance and Dominique Stephens added eight points and nine boards.
Tech was led by 11 points from Dani Urick and a double-double from Tavia Rooney (10 points and 12 rebounds) who was honored before the game for becoming the newest member of the Orediggers' 1000-point club.
In the men's game, Tech built a double-digit halftime lead and then fended off RMC for an 89-82 win. With Providence falling to MSU-Northern on Saturday, the Orediggers (21-4, 9-3) now have a two-game lead over the Argos.
Tech saw five players score in double figures. Caleb Bellach and Hayden Diekhans both came close to double-doubles with Bellach scoring 21 points and collecting nine rebounds while Diekhans had 12 points and nine boards. Chrishon Dixon scored 15 points, Asa Williams had 13 and Keeley Bake added 10.
Rocky (12-12, 4-8) got a double-double with 24 points and 17 rebounds from Nate Hart, 22 points from Maxim Stephens, 19 from Kael Robinson and 14 points from Beau Santistevan.
Tech will play its final home game of the season on Thursday as the Oredigger men and women host Carroll College while Rocky will host MSU-Northern that same day.