BILLINGS – The Rocky Mountain College men’s and women’s basketball teams brought the regular season to a close with a double-header loss to Lewis-Clark State Saturday night inside the Fortin Education Center.
The 12th-ranked women lost a close battle 61-56 in the opener. Rocky entered the night locked into the No. 3 seed in the Frontier Conference Tournament. The loss drops the Battlin’ Bears to 21-7 overall and 11-7 in Frontier play.
Lewis-Clark State (17-12, 8-10 Frontier) held a double-digit lead for most of the first half and was ahead 40-25 with 5:38 remaining in the third quarter. Rocky then got something going and put together a 20-7 run to pull within 47-45 with 6:59 to play in the game.
The next 4:08 of play saw the visiting Warriors score six of the game’s next seven points to keep the Battlin’ Bears out of striking distance. After Rocky got back to 54-51 with 1:36 on the clock, LC State converted at the foul line to avoid the three-game sweep to Rocky.
Rocky finished the night shooting 37.0 percent from the field and had to shoot 50 percent in the second half to get that high. They went 5 of 19 from beyond the arc and scored 16 points from seven offensive rebounds.
Hailee Farstveet and Brooke Jones had 16 points apiece to lead the Battlin’ Bears. Fartsveet knocked down a pair of 3-pointers and tallied six assists. Jones had a team-high seven rebounds and two steals.
The Battlin’ Bears will host Montana Tech in Wednesday’s quarterfinals. Rocky’s first home playoff game since 2012 will begin at 7 p.m.
Rocky’s men fell 90-64 in the nightcap. The loss drops them to 17-13 overall and 8-10 in the Frontier Conference. The Battlin’ Bears finished fifth in the final standings and will hold that seed in the next week’s conference tournament.
Lewis-Clark State (22-8, 11-7 Frontier) led the entire way and used a 13-0 run midway through the first half to take control of the game. The Warriors led by 25 late in the first half before taking a 51-28 lead into halftime.
Jared Samuelson led the Battlin’ Bears with 13 points in eight minutes before leaving with an injury. Latrelle Franklin gave Rocky 11 points off the bench and the team got points from 10 different players.
Dana Abe led five Warriors in double figures with 18 points off the bench.
Rocky will now head to Havre where they will face MSU-Northern in the quarterfinals of the Frontier Conference Tournament on Tuesday at 7 p.m.