BILLINGS — The Rocky Mountain College Battlin’ Bears got two big wins over the University of Providence Thursday to keep their chase of top-three Frontier Conference basketball finishes alive.
Rocky’s women opened the night with a 77-51 thrashing of the No. 23 Argos. The Bears opened the game on an 11-2 run, and Rocky’s Brooke Jones scored 18 first-half points to put Rocky up 24 at the break.
Providence (17-10 overall, 6-9 overall) was never able to mount a comeback due to a stifling Rocky defense. The Bears (17-10, 8-7) were able to hold the Argos to just 25.9 percent from the field and 1 of 14 on 3-pointers on the night.
Four Battlin’ Bears scored in the double digits. Jones finished with 22 points and eight rebounds to lead the team in both categories. Alecia Chamberlin scored 19 points in addition to Justyn Juhl’s 15 and Markaela Francis’ 10, as Rocky shot 58.3 percent from the field.
In the nightcap, Craig Wilmore scored 16 points and Jared Samuelson added 15 and 14 rebounds to help the Bears to a tight 75-69 win. Rocky led by three at halftime, and it remained a one-possession game all the way until Wilmore hit a 3 to put Rocky up 58-54 with 5:29 to play.
Jalen Shepard led all scorers with 18 for the Argos, while Austin Starr and Jack Taylor added 15 each.
Rocky, Providence, and Montana State-Northern are all now tied for third in the Frontier at 8-7.
The Bears will stay at home to play Northern on Saturday in their final home games of the regular season. The women open the doubleheader at 5:30 p.m, with the men scheduled for 7:30 p.m.