It’s time for Digger Dawg – Round 2
It is time for the second installment of Digger-Dawg.
Let’s start with a look at the conference standings after the first round of conference games.
#12 UM Western 4-1 16-2
#18 Carroll College 4-1 13-5
#20 Rocky Mountain 4-1 12-5
Montana Tech 2-3 6-9
Providence 1-4 11-7
MSU Northern 0-5 7-11
Entering Saturday’s contest, the lady Bulldogs are riding an 11-game winning streak, dating back to their Frontier Conference opening loss at Carroll College on December 1st. Included in those 11 straight wins are 3 over current Top 25 teams.
In their last 3 conference wins they have outscored their opponents 237-174 and in each of those wins they have had at least 4 players in double digits. Western is in a freight train right now. They bring hard-nosed defense, putting pressure on the ball and working to create turnovers. They don’t give opposing guards much breathing room at all.
Western is paced by Brynley Fitzgerald. The Dillon product is averaging 17 points and 8 rebounds a game. Fitzgerald is as powerful as anyone in the conference, she can drop into the paint and muscle her way to high percentage points. But, the part of her game that makes her truly dangerous is, she has great ball skills, she can drive from the wing, or she can step back and knock down 3’s.
Jordan Sweeney is next up in the scoring column. Sweeney is averaging 13 points a contest. The Idaho State transfer is shooting 45% from the floor this season. Shainy Mack and post Mesa King are each getting 8 a game. Last season Coach Woolley had to play with a REAL short bench, this season he has regularly gone 10 deep, and all have contributed.
The Orediggers of Montana Tech are riding a two-game conference winning streak as they head to Dillon Saturday. With wins over Providence and Northern the Diggs have jumped up to 4th place. This team is incredibly fun to watch, their work ethic is off the charts. You can see the confidence grow every game, the defensive pressure, the aggression to the basket, the belief. Sure there are moments where you can see that confidence waver, but those moments are happening less and less.
Against Northern, it was a full team effort. 8 different ladies scored, with some big-time performances by Soda Rice with 10 points, Ally Cleverly with 9 points, and Dani Urick put up 6 points, 9 rebounds, and 8 assists.
Tavia Rooney continues to play at a high level, coming off an 18-point, 11-rebound game against Northern, she leads the Diggs averaging 14 points a game on the year, and 18 a game in January. Aubrey Rademacher is next up averaging 11 a game and has caused some mismatch problems for other teams. Senior Dani Urick comes in at 8 points a game, and Ally Cleverly with 7.
Saturday will be the second of three meetings between the Diggers and Dawgs, tipoff is scheduled for 2pm at Straugh Gymnasium in Dillon. The final meeting will be in Butte on February 2nd.