BUTTE — Montana Tech found itself in a shootout with Lewis-Clark State Friday night at the HPER Complex, led largely by Monica Landdeck’s range until the final minute when the Warriors iced it, 83-76.
A Landdeck runner with 50 seconds to play cut the Warriors’ lead to 80-76. Point guard Peyton Souvenir held the ball near mid court with the shot clock running out, drove hard to the paint and slipped the ball to Brittany Tackett for the game-sealing score.
LC State moves to 14-8 (5-6). Montana Tech drops to 13-11 (3-9).
Landdeck had something of a break out game despite the loss, scoring 31 points, 21 of which came in the back-and-forth second half. Landdeck is averaging a shade under nine points per game this season.
“Obviously Landdeck had a heck of a game and kept them in it,” Warriors coach Brian Orr said. “We shot the ball extremely well tonight, which covered up for a lot of our mistakes. We had some turnovers that were pretty costly, but when you’re making shots it can disguise some of your blemishes.”
The Warriors shot 55 percent from beyond the arc, making up for their 16 turnovers.
For their part, the Orediggers shot 39 percent from range, and surrendered 11 turnovers.
But for Diggers coach Carly Sanon, her side’s scoring and defense was there for the most part – it was overall execution that sunk Tech.
“It’s the little things. We played very, very hard on defense, we made them take tough shots, at the end of shot clocks, and then we just didn’t finish the play,” Sanon said. “They got some offensive rebounds, or they got and-ones, or they got two points when we had worked so hard to stop them.”
While it was Landdeck keeping the Diggers afloat, LC State had four women score in double digits, led by Hailey Turner’s 19 and 12 double-double.
And while the story of Tech’s loss Thursday to Montana Western was great post play and poor shooting, Friday it was exactly the opposite.
“Last night post players played phenomenal,” Sanon said. “(Tonight) our shooters shot but our post didn’t. We’ve got to try to get to that consistent level with those post players.”
Shay Potter was tied up in foul trouble in the fourth quarter, and the Warriors executed what Orr said has to be part of the game plan for any team playing Tech this season.
“Well her field goal and points per game is as good as anyone in the country, so everyone is concerned about her,” he said. “Limiting her catches and when she does, you’ve got to hope that she’s missing.
“Foul trouble really affected her game.”
Potter finished with six points and four rebounds.
“Everyone’s more physical with her and she’s getting pushed off her spot,” Sanon said of Potter. “It’s a lot harder for her to make post moves when you get pushed out there.”
Sanon made some changes to the starting lineup, notably bringing Hannah Sparks off the bench after scoring nine points total in the last four Tech games.
LC State is now 2-0 against Tech this season, but Orr is not taking any solace in that record. The Frontier Conference is open for anyone to win any night - only Montana State-Northern is below .500 this season.
“Top to bottom in terms of parity, I don’t think we’ve ever been close,” Orr said. “Anybody can win, you’ve got to bring it every night or you’re going to struggle.”