Frontier Basketball Scores & Highlights, Tuesday 3/3 - News, Sports and Weather

Frontier Basketball Scores & Highlights, Tuesday 3/3

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No. 24 Lady Argos advance to conference semifinals

The University of Great Falls women's basketball team waited 30 years between playoff victories, and Tuesday's 86-80 win over visiting Lewis-Clark State was as sweet as a triumph three decades in the making could be.

“All that time we spent in the gym in the offseason and over the summer paid off tonight,” UGF coach Bill Himmelberg said. “We were able to make shots when we needed them, and the girls made really big plays.”

The No. 24 Lady Argonauts (22-8) advance to the Frontier Conference semifinals against No. 10 and second-seeded MSU-Northern (26-4). That game will tip off at 7 inside the Armory Gymnasium in Havre.

UGF dropped a 75-60 decision to the Skylights last Saturday in the regular-season finale in Havre. It was the Lady Argos' fourth loss in five games to end the conference slate.

“We had to look at ourselves in the mirror, watch some film and see what we were doing wrong,” Himmelberg said. “We made some adjustments and really came together and did what we asked them to do.”

UGF appeared perfectly in sync Tuesday. In a matchup of the two top-scoring offenses in the Frontier Conference the Lady Argos used a balanced offensive approach with five players in double figures.

Erin Legel, the regular-season conference scoring champion led the way with 19 points, while Lindsey Abramson scored 16 to go along with 14 rebounds. Stephanie McDonagh and Nneka Nnadi each had 15, while Darah Huertas-Vining contributed 13 – including several impressive layups in heavy traffic.

“We needed every single one of our points tonight,” Himmelberg said. “We had a lot of different girls step up tonight, and I thought they played together well and executed our game plan.”

LCSC (21-11) took its final lead when Caelyn Orlandi's 3-pointer put the Warriors in front 63-62 with 8:30 to play. The Argos responded with a 7-0 run – including a pair of baskets from McDonagh and a traditional three-point play from Nnadi – to give UGF a 69-63 lead it didn't relinquish.

The Warriors drew within three at 83-80 with 12.1 seconds to go, but Legel and Kendalyn Brainard made three free throws in the final 9.5 seconds to preserve the victory.

Natahnee Spencer scored 21 points to lead the Warriors. Orlandi added 18, Tanis Fuller chipped in 16 to go along with a team-high nine rebounds, and Brittany Tackett scored 10 off the bench.

The Lady Argos split their two meetings with MSUN, claiming an 82-64 victory Jan. 31 at the McLaughlin Center.

Sixth-seeded Montana Tech upset third-seeded Carroll 52-45 in the other conference quarterfinal. The Orediggers will play at top-seeded Westminster Friday with the winner advancing to the championship game.

Saints fall to Diggers in Frontier Quarterfinals

The No. 21 Carroll College women's basketball team fell to Montana Tech 52-45 Tuesday night in the quarterfinals of the Frontier Conference playoffs at the PE Center.

The Saints struggled to make shots hitting just 17-of-57 (29.8 percent) and had the lowest number assists of any game this season. Carroll established a 14-9 lead with 8:23 left in the first half before the Diggers battled back to take a 19-16 lead with 3:04 left in the half. The Saints hit back-to-back buckets to take a 20-19 lead into the half. Carroll built a small, 26-23 lead with 14:17 left in the game before a 14-5 run by the Diggers gave them a 37-31 lead with 8:33 left in the game.

The Saints cut the lead to 40-38 with 3:32 left before a 5-1 run gave Tech a six-point cushion, which was good enough to earn the 52-45 win. Bailey Snelling led the Saints with 16 points and Cassidy Hashley tallied a double double with 14 points and 10 rebounds.

Carroll now plays the waiting game. The No. 21 Saints will be on the bubble for the NAIA DI Women's Basketball Championship in Independence, Mo. just outside of Kansas City. The field will be announced Wednesday, March 11 at 3 p.m. and the pairings announced at 7:30 p.m. that night via webcast.

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