Dillon's Brynley Fitzgerald drives down the Straugh Gymnasium court on the way to scoring another basket against Montana State University-Northern on Saturday. The University of Montana Western senior earned Frontier Conference Player of the Week honors for her performance against MSUN and the University of Providence two days earlier.
The University of Montana Western women’s basketball team last week returned to its winning ways—with a double-digit vengeance.
The Bulldogs blitzed over the University of Providence, 78-60, in Great Falls on Thursday, and then returned to Dillon to dominate Montana State University-Northern, 73-47.
Thursday’s 18-point victory over Providence was not as close as it looks on paper, as the Bulldogs raced out to a 20-point lead in the first half, and the Argos failed to get any closer until just over a minute left in the game.
UMW forward Brynley Fitzgerald recorded 31 points on Thursday in a performance that set up her third Frontier Conference Player of the Week award of the season.
The former BCHS standout scored 22 points and grabbed a half-dozen rebounds two days later in Dillon, to power the Western women to a 73-47 triumph over the MSU-Northern Lights.
The Northern game actually was closer than it looks on paper.
A little closer, anyway. MSUN crept to within 9 points of Western in the opening minute of the fourth quarter.
But the Bullgogs then blasted off for an enthralling 26-3 fourthquarter surge to leave the Lights in the dust.
Point guard Jordan Sweeney also enjoyed a fine game against MSUN, scoring 17 points, including 9 from beyond the arc.
“Jordan is gaining confidence and playing well right now,” said UMW Head Coach Lindsey Woolley of the Division 1 transfer who has served as his starting point guard this season.
The victories elevated the Western women’s record to a gaudy 23-4 overall and 11-3 in the Frontier Conference.
“Yeah, I think this team has a chance to be as good as the best one I’ve had here, in terms of record,” noted Woolley, who guided Western to a 30-4 record in the 2019–20 season that ended with the Bulldogs winning the NAIA national championship.
“But we still have a lot of games left to play.”
Those remaining games start Saturday, Feb. 18, when Western hosts Rocky Mountain College (10-4 in the Frontier, 18-8 overall) at Straugh Gymansium in Dillon, where tipoff is set for 2 p.m.
Senior Night celebrations will precede the game, with a special ceremony honoring Fitzgerald and Mesa King.