(Editor's note: RMC Athletics release)
BILLINGS - Rocky Mountain College earned a share of the Frontier Conference basketball regular season championship on Thursday night with a convincing 79-54 home court win over Montana Western. Via tie breakers, Rocky will enter the Frontier Conference women's postseason tournament as the No. 1 seed.
The Battlin’ Bears started fast and outscored the Bulldogs in all but one quarter improving 24-4, 12-3 in league play.
Kloie Thatcher delivered a game high 28 points plus five rebounds, one assist, and five steals. Shauna Bribiescas added 15 points, six rebounds, one steal, and one block. The Battlin’ Bears shot 36.8 percent from the field, 36 percent from the arc, and 95.2 percent from the line.
Montana Western (15-12, 5-10) was led by Lilly Gopher with 13 points, four rebounds, and two steals. Brynley Fitzgerald added 12 points and five rebounds. Natali Denning added 11 points and six rebounds. The Bulldogs shot 40.4 percent from the field, 31.3 percent from deep, and 73.3 percent from the charity stripe.
Rocky had 32 points off turnovers to the Bulldogs’ six points. Both teams had 22 points in the paint. Despite a poor start, Rocky held the lead for 86.6 percent of the contest.
The Battlin’ Bears host the lowest remaining tournament seed on Saturday, February 26 at 7 p.m.
Rocky's men led UMW by two at half before falling 87-82 in overtime and closing the regular season 11-16, 4-11 in conference.
Rocky was led on offense by Abdul Bah, who had 35 points, four rebounds, one assist, and four steals. Jesse Owens added 14 points, four rebounds, and five assists. Nick Hart had a double double with 13 points and 13 boards. The Battlin’ Bears shot 43.6 percent from the field, 22.2 percent from the arc, and 72.7 percent from the line.
Montana Western (18-12, 7-8) was led by Jalen Hodges with a game high 40 points, seven rebounds, and one block. Max Clark added 15 points and four rebounds. Tanner Haverfield and Ky Kouba added 10 points each. The Bulldogs shot 55 percent from the field, 30.4 percent from deep, and 73.7 percent from the charity stripe.
Rocky had 14 points off turnovers to the Bulldogs’ 16 points. There were 9 ties or lead changes in the contest.
The Battlin’ Bears travel to MSU-Northern for the Frontier Conference men's postseason basketball tournament on Tuesday at 7 p.m.