BUTTE – The Montana Tech Tip-Off Classic concluded with a matchup between the Montana Tech Orediggers and the Warner Pacific Knights.
Coming off of a victory over Montana Western on Friday, WPU looked to make it a sweep of Frontier Conference teams. Tech had different ideas and beat the Knights convincingly, 90-69.
Tech junior Caleb Bellach opened the game with a dunk assisted by Hayden Diekhans, and the Orediggers rolled from there.
“Tonight was a baseline for us to see how good we are. There’s still a lot of room to grow and things to learn from, but I think we can be a good team,” Montana Tech head coach Adam Hiatt said.
The Orediggers were scoring at will in the first half, getting out to a 53-35 lead at halftime and leading by as many as 23 points.
“Depending on our opponent, we look to attack every team differently based on what advantages we have. Tonight, our advantage was in the paint, and I felt like we were the most aggressive team,” Hiatt said.
The game plan was effective, as Tech created much of their scoring by driving to the rim and were rewarded with trips to the free-throw line. The Orediggers outscored WPU 34-26 in the paint and had 37 attempts from the charity stripe, converting on 78.4%.
Tech started slow offensively in the second half and WPU was able to edge back into the game. Once a 23-point deficit, the Knights were able to cut it down to a 12-point game in the later part of the second half.
“We were kind of stuck in the mud offensively and it