(Story by RMC Athletics)
BILLINGS – Rocky Mountain College’s basketball men fell short of a comeback bid in a 70-59 loss to the Montana Tech Orediggers in Wednesday’s Frontier Conference quarterfinals.
Montana Tech shot for 41.4 percent and drained 5-of-12 on threes.The Orediggers were led by Taylor England who scored 16 points with 11 rebounds. England currently leads the Frontier Conference in double-doubles with nine.
This is Montana Tech first win at Rocky since Jan. 21, 2006, when the Orediggers won 94-90 in overtime. It counts as the first postseason win since 1999 for the ‘Diggers.
A close game initially, Rocky (19-12) quickly fell behind after a 18-3 run by the Orediggers (17-14) to end the first half. Cold shooting slowed the Battlin’ Bears. Rocky drained just 28.1 percent from the field in the first period.
The second half was a different story. Down by 16 points at the beginning, Rocky was able to draw the game within five, 61-56, with just 3:04 left on the clock. It wouldn’t be enough. Montana Tech made some crucial free throws down the stretch to give themselves the double digit win.
Rocky ended the night shooting just 33.8 percent from the field and 24.1 percent from beyond the arc. Craig Wilmore posted 13 points with 11 rebounds. Clayton Ladine scored 13 points while Jared Samuelson added an additional 12.
The Orediggers will continue their season on Saturday the Frontier Conference semifinals at top-seeded Carroll College.