Dawgs bank two more wins

M.P. Regan
Wednesday, January 18, 2023
Out for a drive

UMW senior star Brynley Fitzgerald, a Dillon native, attacks the basket for another bucket. Terri Haverfield photo

The University of Montana Western women’s basketball team kept on rollin’—make that, kept on steamrollin’—last week.

The Western women beat Rocky Mountain College, 92-58, on Thursday at Straugh Gymnasium in Dillon, where two days later the Bulldogs overcame Montana Tech, 78-71.

The pair of victories stretched the winning streak of the 12th-ranked UMW to 12 games.

“Well, it wasn’t our prettiest game, but we were happy to have a better second half and put it away,” said UMW point guard Jordan Sweeney of her team’s tough-minded triumph over Montana Tech.

“Tech hit a lot of 3s in the first half and made it really difficult for us. But we picked it up the second half and got it done,” said Sweeney, who helped loosen up Tech’s defense with a game-high nine assists.

UMW’s All-American Brynley Fitzgerald led all scorers Saturday with 31 points and notched four assists.

Every Bulldog contributed to the stat sheet Thursday, when UMW placed five players in double-digit scoring in an astonishing rout of Rocky, which came into the game undefeated in league play and ranked no. 20 in the NAIA.

Defensive contributions from every Bulldog player on the floor proved critical to Saturday’s win over Tech, which came, in large part, discourtesy of a nasty Dawg D effort in the second half.

Western allowed Tech to hit better than 66 percent of its field goal attempts in the first half, which ended with the visitors up by six points.

But UMW clamped down defensively in the third quarter, limiting Tech to 3 of 12 on field goal efforts while outscoring the visitors, 22-8 to take control of the contest.

Next up for the Bulldogs, a showdown with the only Frontier team to top them so far this season.

The Western women will host Carroll College, co-leaders of the league at 5-1 in Frontier play and no. 18 in the NAIA.