Montana Tech rides Machinal’s hot hand in 2nd half to win over Blue HawksIt took guts for Montana Tech head coach Kerie DePell to bring leading scorer Mandy Machinal off the bench Saturday afternoon.
By: Dustin Monke, The Dickinson Press
It took guts for Montana Tech head coach Kerie DePell to bring leading scorer Mandy Machinal off the bench Saturday afternoon.
Sometimes, a risk can reap rewards.
Machinal, a 5-foot-7 sophomore guard, scored all but two of her game-high 28 points in the second half, including 13 straight for Tech as it stretched a one-point lead to 18 en route to an 86-78 Frontier Conference victory at Scott Gymnasium.
A starter in every game this season before Saturday, Machinal said she had one task coming off the bench: “To go out and score and do what I do best,” she said with a smile.
Machinal, who ranks second in the Frontier in scoring at 15.3 points per game, was coming off a 0-for-7, two-point performance against Carroll College last Saturday.
She broke the game open in the second half, leading a 27-8 Montana Tech run over an 8-minute stretch that turned a one-point DSU advantage into a 74-56 Oredigger lead.
“I was proud of her competitiveness,” DePell said. “Instead of dying down and giving up, she really wanted to fight for her spot. That’s what she did and she definitely did a lot of good things.
Trailing 74-56 late in the second half, the Blue Hawks (6-16, 1-7 Frontier) came storming back. They scored 11 unanswered over a span of 3 minutes to cut Tech’s lead to 76-72.
“We had to still stay positive in those situations,” said DSU junior Mariah Duran, who scored 16 points. “We had our heads down at that point, where we needed to pick it up and continue with the game.”
That was as close as it would get as Machinal hit a jumper in the lane to end the run with 1:44 remaining and followed it up with a pair of free throws with 54.3 seconds left that increased the Orediggers’ lead to 80-72.
At one point early in the second half, the Orediggers (13-9, 6-4 Frontier) were shooting more than 60 percent from the field.
Laini Kalumbi finished with 19 points and seven rebounds, Dannielle Devenny had 13 and Lisa Laslovich had 10 points. Those three and Machinal combined to shoot 24 of 37 from the floor and 17 of 22 from the free-throw line.
Montana Tech finished 29 of 54 (54 percent) from the field and held a 37-27 edge on the boards.
“They shot the ball really well,” DSU head coach Caleb Harrison said. “That’s going to happen. We’ve got to try and figure out a way we can win even when a team shoots that well. … When your (opponent) shoots 54 percent and they outrebound you, you’re not going to have a chance to win.”
All five of the Blue Hawks’ starters scored in double figures.
Sophomore Janae Moore had 18 points, five assists and four rebounds, Yianna Nadeau added 14 points while hitting four 3-pointers and Dawne Degel and Jess Bygate each scored 12 points.
DSU held an advantage early in the first half as the teams went back and forth, leading by as much as 29-21 with 6:14 remaining before the Orediggers started chipping away.
Over the next 3½ minutes, with Moore and Bygate on the bench with two fouls apiece, Montana Tech took a 32-21 lead and held a 37-35 advantage going into halftime.
The Blue Hawks never led by more than one point in the second half, taking their final lead when Moore scored five unanswered points on drives to the hoop to give them a 48-47 lead 5:05 into the half.
From there, Machinal and the Orediggers turned it on and forced DSU to allow the second-most points it has all season.
“I’d like to think we could have made some defensive improvements,” Harrison said. “But at the end of the day, she made some plays that we couldn’t really do anything about.”
MONTANA TECH (13-9, 6-4 Frontier): Kelsey Dewit 3-7 2-2 8, Lisa Laslosvich 4-5 0-2 10, Brooke Pokorny 1-7 0-0 2, Laini Kalumbi 6-9 8-11 80, Dannielle Devenny 6-9 1-2 13, Shaye Murphy 1-3 3-7 5, Mandy Machinal 8-14 8-8 28, Erika Jenkins 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 29-54 22-32 86.
DICKINSON STATE (6-16, 1-7 Frontier): Dawne Degel 4-10 3-4 12, Janae Moore 8-15 2-5 18, Jess Bygate 6-11 0-0 12, Yianna Nadeau 4-7 2-2 14, Mariah Duran 6-11 1-1 16, Lorna Shepherd 0-2 2-2 2, Ashley Jelly 1-2 0-0 3, Jenna Cabello 0-2 1-2 1, Jaylyn Klauzer 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 29-60 11-16 78.
Halftime: MT 37-35. Total fouls: MT 13, DSU 24. Fouled out: Degel. 3-point goals: MT 6-19 (Laslovich 2-3, Pokorny 0-3, Kalumbi 0-1, Devenny 0-1, Murphy 0-1, Machinal 4-10), DSU 9-21 (Degel 1-3, Moore 0-2, Nadeau 4-7, Duran 3-6, Shepherd 0-1, Jelly 1-2). Rebounds: MT 37 (DeWit 7), DSU 27 (Cabello 5, Degel 5). Assists: MT 11 (Pokorny 4), DSU 14 (Moore 5). Steals: MT 6 (Pokorny 2, Kalumbi 2), DSU 3 (Duran 2). Blocks: MT 3 (three with 1), DSU 0. Turnovers: MT 10 (Machinal 3), DSU 11 (Duran 3, Moore 3).