Frontier Conference Basketball Wrap, Saturday 2/8 - KFBB.com News, Sports and Weather

Frontier Conference Basketball Wrap, Saturday 2/8

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Lady Argos get revenge on Tech

The University of Great Falls Lady Argos won a decisive 89-67 victory tonight over the Montana Tech Diggers. After losing to the Lady Diggers last week in Butte, the victory was well earned for the Lady Argos and their second straight in as many nights. "If we keep winning games, we have a chance of getting back in the playoffs and that is our goal," said UGF head coach Bill Himmelberg. The Lady Argos put themselves well on their way to re-establishing their playoff hopes with tonight's victory and a victory over 13th ranked Lewis and Clark State on Friday. "We came in with our game plan, the girls put a lot of time in the gym this week and we were able to implement it," Himmelberg said.

With eleven lead changes and several high scoring players on the court, it wasn't until late in the game that the Argos really took control of the basketball and began to shut down the Lady Diggers. In the final ten minutes of the game, the Lady Argos began their run.

The score was 56-50 in favor of the Argos with nine minutes left when Erin Legel snagged a steal which led to a successful three pointer. The steal ignited a fire for Great Falls, as they pulled ahead to a 72-56 lead within four minutes. Legel's game high 31 points led the Lady Argos. Other top scorers for Great Falls included Taylor Statton with 18 points and Lindsey Abramson with 11.

The Lady Argos playoff hopes stayed alive with the victory and with two straight wins at home against teams who recently defeated them, Himmelberg is feeling confident about his team. "We want to defend our home court and win each individual play, turn that into winning each game, and keep that momentum going."

The players are ready to keep the momentum going as well. "Last year we didn't make the playoffs and that was really disappointing. This year, our team is feeling really good, we have to move onto the next one and refocus, and keep playing as a team," said Legel.

The Lady Argos travel to Salt Lake City on Thursday, February 13th to take on the Lady Griffins who are ranked first in the Frontier and third in the nation. Great Falls will turn around and play Montana-Western on Saturday, February 15th. Both games have a 5:30pm start time.

 

Griffins Take Advantage of Carroll Turnovers

The Westminster College men's basketball team flirted with 100 points for a second straight game before eventually defeating Carroll (Mont.), 96-82, in a Frontier Conference game in the Behnken Field House on Saturday night.

Westminster (15-10, 8-4 Frontier) used a 10-4 run early in the first half to take a lead they wouldn't surrender the rest of the night. Carroll (7-17, 2-10) would get within two on a few different occasions, but they had no answer for the Griffins' Blake Skidmore. He finished the half with 22 points, including a runner at the buzzer to give Westminster a 52-44 lead heading into intermission.

Carroll would stay within seven to nine points for much of the second half thanks to their 71.4 percent shooting after the break. After Chris McGrath made a three with 6:00 on the clock, the Griffins put together an 18-4 run to push to an 18 point lead with 55.4 seconds left in the game. Tallon Robertson scored seven points during the run and the Griffins forced Carroll into three turnovers.

Turnovers were the key to the game as Westminster used 15 miscues by the visitors to help them to a 29-6 edge in points from turnovers. The Griffins only committed five turnovers and they shot 56.5 percent from the field with 48 points in the paint. They also scored 13 points from 11 offensive rebounds to help overcome a 69.4 percent shooting night by Carroll.

Skidmore finished the game with 28 points for his eighth 20-points game of the season. He went 10-of-16 from the field and made six of his 10 attempts from beyond the arc. Robertson notched his fifth 20point game in the last six outings with 25 points on 8-of-12 shooting. He was perfect on all nine of his free throw attempts while grabbing five rebounds, two assists and one steal.

Nick Jenson provided a spark with 15 points and three rebounds while Quincy Bair added 12 points, three rebounds and two assists. Jordan Pryor added eight points with a pair of treys off the bench.

Chris McGrath led Carroll with 23 points. Zach Taylor added 18 points and seven assists, but he only scored four points in the second half.

Westminster finishes the weekend in third place in the Frontier Conference and sit one-game behind Rocky Mountain (Mont.) and Montana State-Northern for the top spot. The Griffins will be back in action on Thursday when they welcome Great Falls (Mont.) to the Behnken Field House for a 7:30 p.m. MST tip.

 

Westminster women sweep Carroll

The No. 3-ranked Westminster College women's basketball team never trailed in a 63-37 win over Carroll (Mont.) on Saturday night in the Behnken Field House.

Westminster moved one step closer to a sixth-straight Frontier Conference regular season title as they remain perfect in league play at 12-0. The Griffins are now 18-2 overall and have won 11 consecutive games. The loss drops Carroll to 13-13 overall and 6-6 in the conference.

The Griffins jumped out quick by scoring the first 12 points of the game. They didn't allow a basket by Carroll until the 13:29 mark of the opening half as they ran out to a 25-5 advantage less than 11 minutes into the contest. Westminster shot 66.7 percent in the opening half and took a 38-13 lead into halftime.

Alli Blake and Tia Pappas scored 16 points apiece to lead the Griffins. Blake shot 7-of-9 from the floor and grabbed six rebounds with four assists and four steals. Pappas added three boards, two assists and one steal. Amy Krommenhoek continued her hot shooting by going 3-of-3 from beyond the arc to finish with 13 points.

Westminster shot 60 percent in the game with 26 points in the paint. They notched 16 assists on 24 made field goals and the got eight points from nine offensive rebounds. The Griffins held Carroll to 34.1 percent shooting and scored 15 points from their 20 turnovers.

Bailey Snelling led Carroll with 14 points, but only got three points after halftime. Jordan Pfau added 10 points off the bench.

The Griffins will look to clinch a bye into the semi-finals of the Frontier Conference with a win on Thursday when they host Great Falls (Mont.) at 5:30 p.m. MST in the Behnken Field House.

 

Northern Wins Tight Contest with LCSC

The Lewis-Clark State College men's basketball team opened up a big lead on No. 23 MSU-Northern early in the second half but couldn't hold it, and the Lights emerged with an 88-84 victory on Saturday night at Armory Gymnasium.

A 3-pointer by Brady Bagby in the waning seconds cut the Lights' lead to two at 86-84, but Mike LaValley made two free throws on the ensuing possession to ice the win for MSU-Northern (21-5 overall, 9-3 Frontier Conference).

The Warriors drop to 19-8 overall and 6-6 in conference play with the defeat, and are now in sole possession of sixth place in the league with three games remaining on their schedule. The top six teams make the conference tournament.

Despite seven first-half 3-pointers by MSU-Northern's Alfie Miller, Lewis-Clark State led the Lights 42-35 at halftime thanks to a balanced offensive attack.

"We were turning them over in the first half and our press was able to get us a lead, but give credit to them. They started breaking it," LCSC coach Brandon Rinta said.

The Warriors led by as many as 17 early in the second half, but MSU-Northern was to whittle the lead down and eventually go ahead in the final minutes by getting the ball inside. Lights forward Corbin Pearson had all 12 of his points in the second half on Saturday.

Through it all, Lewis-Clark State still found itself with a chance to win in the final minute, as E.J. Farris made a three with 1:01 to go that made it 84-81.

The Lights answered with a layup by Miller with 23 seconds to go to make it a two-possession game at 86-81.

"We didn't get the stop we needed," Rinta said.

Bagby hit a three to make it 86-84 with 14 ticks on the clock, but the Warriors couldn't get any closer.

Farris had 23 points to lead the Warriors, and Bagby added 16. Robert Ellis tacked on 13 and Jacob Champoux had 12 for LCSC.

The Warriors have another tough road test next weekend as they'll head to Billings, Mont. to take on No. 16 Rocky Mountain.

"They're in first place and the most talented team in the league," Rinta said of the Battlin' Bears. "They'll be a bit more motivated since we beat them at our place. We'll have to bounce back and have a good week of practice."


No. 13 LCSC holds off No. 19 MSU-Northern for Crucial Road Win

The No. 13 Lewis-Clark State College women's basketball team raced out to a big halftime lead and fended off No. 19 MSU-Northern down the stretch for a crucial 58-49 victory on Saturday at Armory Gymnasium.

Coming on the heels of the Warriors' disheartening 20-point loss at Great Falls on Friday, this win was important not only in restoring LCSC's confidence, but in solidifying its hold on second place in the Frontier Conference.

LCSC has now swept the season series with the third-place Skylights

"Our players showed so much resilience coming back after last night's tough loss. It's so hard to pick yourself back up on that second night, and we came out with tremendous focus and energy," Lewis-Clark State coach Brian Orr said. "The first half was as good as we've played all year on both ends."

The Warriors held the Skylights to just eight first-half points on just three made field goals, but Northern out-scored LCSC 41-26 in the second half, getting to within seven in the last two minutes.

"They made some adjustments in the second half, but we had people answer," Orr said. "Caelyn Orlandi hit a few big shots and had a great pass inside to McKenzie Heaslet for a bucket. There were times when we absolutely struggled to attack, but we had some possessions where we made them defend."

Tanis Fuller led LCSC in scoring with 14 points on 7-for-12 shooting, and battled double teams all night. Lorée Hill added 13 points and Orlandi tacked on 12 for the Warriors.

The Warriors attempted just eight 3-point field goals on Saturday, by far their lowest total for the season. They made four, with Hill getting three of those triples.

"We stayed patient with our attack, and we didn't want to take quick shots unless they were in rhythm and wide-open," Orr said. "We kept attacking for layups and stayed patient."

Brittaney Niebergall added seven points and five assists for LCSC.

Orr said he was a bit disappointed in the team's 18 turnovers, their most in a game since late November.

A'Jha Edwards had a double-double of 15 points and 15 rebounds for the Skylights, and spearheaded Northern's second-half comeback. Rachelle Bennett also had 15 points for MSU-Northern.

Lewis-Clark State will head back out on the road next Saturday to take on cellar-dwelling Rocky Mountain in Billings. The Warriors beat Rocky Mountain 81-53 in Lewiston on Jan. 11.

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