As has been the case for most of Coach Steve Keller’s eight year tenure, the University of Montana Western men’s basketball team trekked north to find the MSU-Northern Lights ready to play the spoiler. The Bulldogs suffered their first conference light and saw their 13 game win streak end in a 68-56 loss to the Lights. (read more)
University of Montana Western head football coach BJ Robertson has announced the addition of Terry Thomas to the Bulldog coaching staff. (read more)
Montana Western rodeo was represented by 14 current and former athletes at the Montana PRCA Pro Rodeo Circuit Finals held in Great Falls, Mont. Jan 16-18, 2015. (read more)
Bulldogs fall to Argos on the roadThe Bulldogs’ Quinn Smith scored the first six points for Montana Western as it built an eight point lead in the game’s opening minutes. The Argos chipped away at the lead earning a tie halfway through the period. Great Falls built a seven point lead but the Bulldogs knotted the game at 41 as the first period ended.
In the second half the Argos used accurate shooting and strong rebounding to build a 15 point lead with 10 minutes remaining. The Bulldogs then began to chip away at the game, putting themselves within striking distance in the closing minutes. Senior guard Stephen McCall hit back to back three point baskets to cut the lead to two points with 15 seconds remaining, but his third attempt fell short and the Argos hit free throws to close out the win.
Junior Dexter Williams Jr. lead the Bulldogs with 18 points and eight rebounds. McCall also had 18 points in the game, and Smith finished with 13. The Bulldogs were outrebounded 23-33 and could do little to combat the Argo's 42.86 percent accuracy from beyond the arc.
The Bulldogs fall to 3-2 in the Frontier Conference, but return to Straugh Gymnasium where they are undefeated this season for home games against Lewis-Clark State and Montana Tech next week.
Bulldogs see early lead slip away against Argos
Both teams entered the game looking to bounce back from losses to top 10 ranked teams on Friday night, Montana Western to MSU-Northern and Great Falls to Westminster. In the first half the Bulldogs jumped out to a quick lead behind a balanced offensive attack. The Argos battled back and claimed a six point lead at halftime.
The Bulldogs started quickly again in the second half and drew within one point of the Argos two minutes into the period. Jenna Banks and Sierra Higheagle continued to pace the Bulldogs finishing with 17 and 16 points respectively. The Argos were able to withstand the charge and pulled away a number of times in the period behind the 20 points of Lindsay Abramson. The Bulldogs continued to battle and closed the gap a few more times, but the Argos were able to extend the lead to eight to end the game. Statistics were nearly identical with Montana Western holding an edge in field goal percentage, rebounds and points in the paint. The difference for the Argos proved to be free throw shooting, second chance points and turnovers.
The Bulldogs, now 0-5 in conference, return to Straugh Gymnasium next week for home games against Lewis-Clark State and Montana Tech.
Bulldogs' streak ends at MSU-Northern
The Bulldogs entered the contest 3-0 in the Frontier Conference while the Lights were 0-4, but the history between these teams suggested that the win was anything but guaranteed to Montana Western. The first half started as a battle between the teams in which the stats were nearly identical except for shooting percentage. Northern shot 57 percent from beyond the arc to knock down eight treys and went 7-7 from the stripe to build a 13-point lead at the intermission. Montana Western was slowed by a 29 percent effort from the floor and 75 percent accuracy from the free throw line in the first period.
The Bulldogs roared back into the game with a 10-0 run to start the second half, but could get no closer as Northern drained back-to-back threes and never looked back. The Lights’ offensive efficiency continued in the second period as Northern shot 44.2 percent in the game, added five more three point baskets, and didn’t miss a free throw until less than two minutes remained, finishing 17-18 from the stripe. Montana Western managed just 26.7 percent shooting from long range, 42.9 percent from the floor, and 55.6 percent from the line. Just two Bulldogs contributed double digits points, Dexter Williams, Jr with 19 and Stephen McCall with 15.
The Bulldog road trip concludes Saturday with a stop at the University of Great Falls where the teams will battle for the lead in the Frontier Conference.
Montana Western falls to MSU-Northern on the road
Montana Western continued to rely on a stingy defense to combat the height of 6 foot 5 MSU-Northern center Ajha Edwards who was fresh off consecutive week NAIA national player of the week honors. Through the first half the scheme worked as the Bulldogs trailed by just eight at the half after negating Edward’s impact on the offensive end. Unfortunately for the Bulldogs the Skylights was ready to demonstrate their depth. “They are really good,” Montana Western head coach Lindsay Woolley said. “We probably focused too much on the big kid and their other players made us pay.” Northern’s Natalee Faupel accounted for 13 of the first 17 Skylight points on her way to a perfect 4-4 effort from three.
In the second half the Skylights continued to distribute the ball and the Bulldogs offense stalled. “We couldn’t get anything done offensively and a large reason was their defense, said Woolley. Montana Western was lead by Melody McCloud with eight points and three rebounds, and Kaci Matthies who tallied six points and five rebounds.
The Bulldogs wrap of a weekend road trip tomorrow night at the University of Great Falls where they will face the first ever NAIA top 25 team for the Argos.
Montana Western hosts alumni events
This is the first installation of the alumni association’s monthly after-hours event for alumni and friends. The last Friday of every month will provide an opportunity for alumni and friends of Montana Western to gather for socializing and networking. For this first event, attendees are encouraged to bring an appetizer or snack to share with the group.
The following evening, Jan. 31, the alumni association is hosting “Alumni Night” during the Montana Western versus Montana Tech men’s and women’s basketball games. Alumni and friends are invited to join the alumni association in the Keltz Arena on the UMW campus from 4:30-9 p.m. for appetizers and a no-host bar.
Alumni who register with the alumni association that evening will receive a complimentary admission ticket to watch the Bulldogs take on the Orediggers. Recognition of alumni will take place during the basketball games.
Retired Dillon Beaver head coach to join Montana Western staff“We are excited to add Coach Thomas to our staff,” Robertson said, adding that Thomas will coach the quarterbacks and serve as pass game coordinator. “He brings a wealth of football knowledge and success, which will not only help our players but also our coaches and myself.”
Thomas was most recently the very successful head coach of the Beaverhead County High School Beavers before retiring in 2013. During his 27-year career, Thomas had a record of 211-76 as head coach and five state championships. He was named Montana Coaches Association Coach of the year five times and was nominated 11 times.
After his retirement from the head coach position at BCHS, Thomas was inducted into the National High School Athletic Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 2013.
A Great Falls native, Thomas began his collegiate football career at Portland State University before lettering for three years, 1977-1980, at the University of Montana as a defensive back, punter, and kicker.
After earning his education degree at UM, Thomas served as a head coach for four years at Wolf Point High School in Wolf Point, Mont., before moving to Dillon, Mont., where he still teaches computer and physical education courses.
Thomas was selected to serve as head coach in the Montana Shrine All-Star Football Game three times and served as an assistant two years. Thomas also served as head coach in the Montana-North Dakota All-Star Game once and worked as an assistant coach in the game twice. In 2007, Thomas was inducted into the Montana Coaches Association Hall of Fame.
Thomas has served as head coach for BCHS boys’ basketball program since 2005, winning three state titles and earning the distinction of being the only Montana head coach to win basketball and football championships in the same school year, having done it twice, in 2006-2007 and 2011-2012.
Thomas and his wife Wendie are the parents of three BCHS graduates, daughter Whitney and sons Tyler and Torrey, who started together in the defensive secondary at the University of Montana in 2005 and 2006. Thomas will continue his teaching and basketball coaching duties at BCHS.
“I appreciate his belief in our program and willingness to commit to the Bulldog football family,” said Robertson.
Montana Western rodeo well represented at Circuit Finals
In the Bareback riding UMW alum Chase Erickson placed in all three rounds to win the average and qualify for a trip to the Dodge National Circuit Finals rodeo (DNCF). Erickson had entered the weekend in sixth place in the standings, but moved into second place to finish the year. Current student J2 Bridges placed in the first round and scored qualified rides all three nights. Alumnus Tucker Zingg also covered all three head at the finals.
In the Team Roping, Western graduate and 1989 CNFR steer wrestling national champion, Tim Garrison and his partner placed fourth in the first round after entering the rodeo in the 12th position.
Six Bulldogs competed in the steer wrestling event at the finals. Current Montana Western student Newt Novich placed fourth in the final round of the weekend and was joined by UMW alumni Dan Mulkey, Reef Mills, Shawn Downing, Bridger Chambers and Luke Gee. Downing, Chambers, and Gee also placed in rounds at the finals.
Shane Moran, a 2000 graduate represented Western the Saddle Bronc competition, placing fourth in the first round.
Bulldog alum Ryan Siemsen finished fourth in the first round of Tie Down Roping and just out of the money at fifth on the second evening.
Helena cowgirl Cally Goyins was the lone woman to represent Montana Western in the Barrel Racing. Goyins entered the weekend in fifth place after the 2014 season and finished the weekend with two strong runs.
Luke Gee and Ryan O'Masters competed in the Bull Riding. Gee was one of only three cowboys with two qualified rides on the weekend, finishing second in the average and number one in the year end standings. Gee earned a trip to the DNCF in the Bull Riding as well as the All Around.
Two rodeo athletes accepted to medical school
Marshall is a Saco, Mont. native completing degrees in Biology and Health and Human Performance and her final rodeo season this spring. A two-time CNFR qualifier, Marshall was selected as a team captain this year and serves as the Rodeo Club president. "Justinn is an outstanding competitor in the arena as well as an outstanding, dedicated, focused, and incredibly intelligent student," Montana Western coach Olie Else said. Marshall was invited to participate in the TRUST curriculum in WWAMI, which stands prepares physicians to work in underserved communities, an role Marshall values based on her rural background.
Wines graduated from Montana Western in 2012 with a Biology degree, and has been pursuing a masters degree at Boise State University while applying to medical school. A native of Gooding, Idaho, Wines was a top level competitor in the arena and active in leadership roles on campus and beyond. "Tyler was student body president, president of the Montana University System students, and student president of the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association while excelling in the classroom," Else said.
Marshall, Wines, and Coach Else credit the Experience One model with an exceptional undergraduate experience and strong preparation for medical school. "It is wonderful to have the work of Justinn and Tyler and our Biology program recognized in this way," Else commented.
Bulldogs escape with win
Bulldog senior Jordan Overstreet opened the game with a three and posted the first eight points for Montana Western on is way to 18 points in the contest. The Bulldogs took an eight point lead into halftime on Overstreet’s 13 first half points and 10 from Dexter Williams Jr.
Westminster responded closing the gap to three points in the opening minutes of the second period. Back to back threes by Tim Lott and Stephen McCall then an Overstreet layup put the Bulldogs up by nine and the lead was extended to 11 points halfway through the period. The Griffins surged back and drew within two points with less than three minutes remaining. Montana Western closed out the game with solid free throw shooting, finishing 21-27 from the line.
“We ground out another win tonight,” Bulldog coach Steve Keller said. “We let them get close at the end but won the game from the free throw line, just like we have been doing.”
Senior Stephen McCall led all scorers with 27 points, Overstreet added 18, and Williams Jr. finished with 16. “Defensively we played well as a team. On the offensive end Stephen McCall stepped up and Jordan Overstreet played a great game,” Keller said.
Bulldogs fall to GriffinsIn the first half the Bulldogs kept the game tight behind junior McCall Hasquet’s 13 points. Hasquet, a 5 foot 10 forward from Missoula, Mont. shot 5-7 from the floor, including 3-5 from behind the arc in the period. The Griffins were able to build a 10-point lead with 4:00 remaining in the half but Hasquet’s third trey narrowed the gap to seven as the break.
In the second half the Griffins were able to wear down the Bulldog defense and connect from deep to keep the game in check. “I felt we did a good job of limiting their deep shots in the first half,” Bulldog coach Lindsay Woolley commented. “They made some halftime adjustments that we didn’t react to and gave up too many open threes.” Westminster shot 6 for 12 from three in the second half and increased its lead to 20 points. The Bulldogs chipped away at the lead in the closing minutes as Hasquet added another deep basket and senior Jenna Banks converted two free throws on her way to 10 points in the game.
Montana Western continues a tough conference schedule on the road next week to face top 25 team MSU-Northern and the University of Great Falls which has been receiving votes in the polls.