New faces, new coaches and new system were on display Friday afternoon at Kelvin Sampson Court in the Montana Tech HPER as the Montana Tech Womens Basketball team opened the season with a gritty 61-59 overtime win over the Dickenson State Blue Hawks.  The win was the debut of new Head Coach Jeff Graham who had to like a lot of what he saw.

The Orediggers got off to a slow start in the first quarter.  After getting the first point of the game from a Tavia Rooney free throw, Dickinson State ran off 7 straight before a Rooney bucket cut the lead to 7-3.  The Diggers would claw back to within 1 as the quarter ended with DSU up 13-12.  The second quarter, both the offense and defense started to click.  After forcing a 10 second violation on the quarter's opening possession, Tech's swarming full-court press forced another turnover which led to another Rooney basket.  And then the lights went out.  Three pointers by Soda Rice, Lizzy Perry, Kia Wasson and Dani Urick were all part of mid-quarter run that saw the Diggers take a 36-23 lead into halftime.

The second half the buckets were not falling for the Orediggers.  In fact, they would not get a field goal in the third quarter with their only two points coming off of free throws.  The fourth quarter would see Tech holding onto a slim lead until Dickenson center Samantha Oase's three point play would give the Blue Hawks a 41-38 lead with 5:40 to go in regulation.  An Aubree Rademacher block would highlight the Orediggers aggressive stand defensively as the teams would battle to a 53-53 tie at the end of regulation.  The overtime period was as gritty as well with neither team able to gain momentum.  Coming out of a timeout with 30 seconds to play, guard Soda Rice passed out of a double team to an open Aubree Rademacher for the winning bucket with 2.8 seconds to play. 'I just put some zip on it," Rice said of her assist, "It's what Coach T tells us," the Coach T in question being legendary coach John Thatcher who back on the bench as one of Coach Grahams assistants.

Oase led all scorers with 23.  Aubrie Rademacher had 14 for the Orediggers while Dani Urick followed closely with 12.  Montana Tech will be back in action on Monday as they travel to Billings for an exhibition contest with MSU-Billings.

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