BILLINGS – Trailing 36-28 at halftime, the Rocky Mountain College men’s basketball team mounted a furious second half rally to claim a 65-55 win over Montana Tech on Saturday night in the Fortin Education Center.
Rocky (11-6, 3-3 Frontier) really struggled in the first half where they shot 36.0 percent and allowed Montana Tech (8-8, 0-5) to make 51.9 percent. Tech built a 12-point lead with 2:53 to play in the first half and took a 36-28 lead into halftime.
The Battlin’ Bears would turn things around after intermission. They used a 16-5 run to take a 44-43 lead with 11:17 to play in the game. Neither team would lead by more than three over the next few minutes. Trailing 54-52 with 4:52 to play, Rocky closed the game on a 13-1 run that featured them hitting 6 of 8 from the field.
Rocky finished the night shooting 42.3 percent from the floor and they scored 30 points in the paint. They dominated on the glass, 42-26, and turned 15 Tech turnovers into 20 points. The Orediggers were just 7 of 27 from the field in the second half to finish the game at 38.9 percent.
Jared Sameulson led all players with 15 points after making all seven of his attempts at the foul line. He scored nine points in the second half and totaled eight rebounds and three assists.
Latrelle Franklin came off the bench to score 12 points and add six assists. Craig Wilmore scored seven points – including a game-clinching dunk with 2:22 to play – and he matched his career-high with 13 rebounds.
Rocky has now won consecutive games for the first time since late November and they sit among five teams in the Frontier Conference at .500 or better.
Jake Miles led Montana Tech with 13 points and Chris O’Neil added 12.
The Battlin’ Bears are now set for two straight weekends and four games on the road. They are in Lewiston, Idaho on Thursday to face Lewis-Clark State at 8:30 p.m. MT.