BUTTE — The University of Providence men's and women's basketball teams opened their long-awaited seasons with road wins over Montana Tech on Tuesday at the HPER Complex in the first day of a pair of doubleheaders.
In the women's game, Parker Esary had a double-double with a game-high 21 points and 12 rebounds as the Argos outlasted Montana Tech in a game where the lead changed hands 19 times.
Tech (1-4 overall, 1-4 in the Frontier Conference) built a 21-19 lead to close out the first quarter and the Argos led 42-41 heading into halftime.
Providence (1-0, 1-0) grabbed the lead for the final time on a field goal from Esary with 1:43 remaining.
Maddy Dixon and Reed Hazard each had 14 points for the Argos and Emilee Maldonaddo scored 13.
Tech was led by 18 points from Brooke Heggie, 17 from Mesa Williams, 14 from Dani Urick and 12 from Mollie Peoples.
In the men's game, Davien Harris-Williams racked up 19 points and Zaccheus Darko-Kelly notched a double-double as No. 14 Providence outlasted a furious second-half Tech rally to hand the Orediggers their first conference loss of the season, 86-83.
The Argos (1-0, 1-0) stormed to a 21-point lead in the first half and went into the break up 43-30. The teams headed into the fourth quarter tied at 60.
The Orediggers (3-3, 3-1) surged back in the second half to cut Providence's advantage to 84-83 on a field goal from Sindou Diallo, but the Argos put the game away from the free throw line.
Darko-Kelly had 14 points and 12 rebounds to reach his double-double. Cap Uzan had 16 points and Harris-Williams drained five 3-pointers.
Tech was paced by a game-high 20 points from Diallo, the reigning Frontier Conference player of the week, and 13 from Markieth Brown Jr. Derrius Collins added 12 and Bridger Larson had 11.
The Orediggers and Argos will clash again on Tuesday with the men's game tipping off at 4 p.m. and the women's game following.