The Orediggers look to turn out the Lights Thursday
The Montana Tech Men are in the midst of a winning streak. The Diggs have won their last 6 games overall, 8 of their last 10, and most importantly, their last 2 conference games. With just how good the Frontier men’s teams are, conference winning streaks are going to be incredibly hard to come by. After two weeks of play the conference standings look like this:
Records - (conference- overall)
#12 Montana Tech 3-1 15-2
Rocky Mountain 2-2 10-6
Carroll College 2-2 8-7
Providence 2-2 8-9
UM Western 2-2 7-10
MSU-Northern 1-3 12-5
The Diggs will wrap up the first trip around the Frontier conference block, with a home game against the Lights of MSU Northern, Thursday night in the HPER. Please put very little stock in the 1-3 record for coach Huse and the Lights. Their first conference loss was a double-overtime thriller at Providence, they then returned to the Armory and took down Carroll. This past weekend they lost a pair at home, an overtime matchup with the Battlin’ Bears of Rocky, and an 8-point defeat by Western.
Here is my first broken record statement. “Coach Huse and Northern have an incredibly stingy Defense.”
They are currently #9 in the country for points allowed per game at 63, and even more impressively they hold opposing teams to 37% shooting, good for #3 in the country.
Offensively they are led by Jesse Keltner with 13 points, and 7 rebounds a game. Jesse is a strong, athletic post that is usually a bit undersized on paper but never gives an inch on the floor. CJ Nelson comes in next with 10 a game. Tanner McCliment-Call, Dae’Kwon Watson, and Zackry Martinez all come in at 9 points a game for the Lights.
As mentioned earlier, the Diggs enter Thursday’s matchup 3-1 in conference, with wins over Rocky, Carroll, and Providence. In those 4 conference games Montana Tech has been led in scoring by one of two guys, Caleb Bellach or Asa Williams. Both have played outstanding thus far, Bellach averaging 17 a game on 46% shooting, and Williams at 12 points a contest. Michael Ure is coming off a career-high game against Providence where he scored 23, bringing his average up to 13 points a game. Hayden Diekhans is getting 9 a game, Keeley Bake and Chrishon Dixon both at 8 a game, and Bridger Larson at 7 a game. I expect Bridger to have some serious minutes against Northern.
I talked about Northern’s defense, by now we know that Coach Hiatt leads with defense as well. The Diggs are only allowing 66 points a game, and they lead the nation in turnovers a game. Only giving the ball away 8 times a contest.
We are going to see defenses’ forcing each other deep into the play clock, patience and belief in your system are going to be key, and free throws are going to be massively important.
I’ll put the over/under at 5 for number of shot clock violations.
The other item on Thursdays agenda that you need to be in the HPER for is: The 2021-2022 Frontier Conference Champion Montana Tech Orediggers will hang their Championship banner between games. The bulk of the graduated seniors will be back for the event, and will be recognized as well. We will have Taylor England, Derrius Collins, Drew Huse, Cody Baumstarck, Robbie Simpson, and JT Baer all back.
So make sure to join us Thursday night as Montana Tech entertains the Lights of MSU Northern, the men will take to the floor at 7, after the banner raising.