Frontier Basketball Scores & Highlights, Thursday 1/28 - News, Sports and Weather

Frontier Basketball Scores & Highlights, Thursday 1/28

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UGF uses Third Quarter Run to Down Northern.

A masterful third quarter that saw UGF outscore MSU-Northern 18-7 led the (25) Lady Argos to a 60-45 victory over the (15) Skylights. The win is UGF’s fourth straight and moves the team from a tie with Northern for third place in the Frontier Conference standings to a tie for second with Carroll College.

When to two teams last faced, UGF suffered a disheartening 20-point loss to the Skylights up in Havre, Mont. This time the Lady Argos made it clear throughout the first half that such a result would not repeat itself.

“I think it was big for us to come out strong but every weekend is the biggest weekend of the year,” said UGF sophomore Stephanie McDonagh. “Beating another top-25 team was big for us.”

Each team held a slim lead for about five minutes in the first quarter but a bucket from UGF senior Erin Legel with three second left put the Lady Argos up five. In the second quarter, UGF extended the lead to as much as nine but the Skylights brought it back to five at the half.

It was in the third quarter that McDonagh and company separated themselves from their opponent. Six straight points for UGF to start the second half, four of which came from junior Nneka Nnadi, gave the team the first double-digit lead of the night. Not only did the team spread the ball well offensively, receiving strong score performances from Nnadi, McDonagh and junior Morgan Grier, but they held MSUN to just seven points in the quarter.

“We played with confidence, we communicated well and we worked on a lot of the things we’ve gone over in practice,” Nnadi said about the third quarter run. “Last time against them it was obviously a defensive breakdown, so this time we played good defense.”

That better defensive effort put UGF in possession of a 16 point lead heading into the final ten minutes and they never let the game get any closer than 12 points from there. In the second the Lady Argos gave up a total of 15 points over 20 minutes and forced seven turnovers.

From a scoring standpoint, the second half surge was led primarily by Nnadi and Grier who scored 16 of UGF’s 25 second half points. Nnadi, the leading scorer in the Frontier Conference, finished with a game high of 22 points off of nine for 16 shooting. Grier finished 13 points and led the team with eight rebounds from the shooting guard position while McDonagh finished second on the team in points with 15.

The 15 point victory and four game winning streak has been a strong answer for UGF after starting conference play with a 2-3 record including the 20-point loss to Northern. It also legitimizes the team’s re-entry into the top-25 in the most recent NAIA Coaches’ Poll.

“It was huge for us. We really wanted to redeem ourselves from our last game against them,” Nnadi said. “Northern is a great team but we’ve definitely improved since then. We’re just going to try and carry it over to our next game against Carroll.”

The win puts the Lady Argos at 15-6 (6-3) after a stretch of six straight home games. That home stand will end with their next game, a road trip to (10) Carroll College on Friday, Jan. 29 at 5:30 p.m.

Northern Men Get Revenge on UGF

Fouls and turnovers cost the Argo men against Montana State University-Northern, losing 54-42 despite outshooting and out-rebounding the Lights.

The first sign of trouble for UGF came with around 10 minutes left in the first half. Over the next five minutes the Argonauts went from being tied at 10 points apiece to finding themselves down by 11. A big three from redshirt freshman Michael Harris gave UGF new life and sparked a run over the next four minutes that narrowed the gap to two points with 50 second left in the half.

Then a UGF turnover, their seventh of the half, led to a buzzer-beating three for MSUN that gave the Lights a five points lead heading into the locker room.

The second half played out much as the first, with MSUN extending its lead to 17 before UGF began a slow comeback attempt. After a series of six straight points, the lead fell to eight with five minutes left. Right when one more Argo stop felt like it could be backbreaking for MSUN, the Lights capitalized on a series of offensive rebounds that negated solid UGF defensive possessions. While the Argos did eventually bring the lead back down to seven, it was too little too late to pull off the comeback.

Despite the late rebound issues, the Argos won the overall rebounding battles 32-26 and they also shot better from the field with a percentage of 40 to the Light’s 37 percent shooting. The statistics that sank them were their 18 turnovers and 18 personal fouls.

In terms of scoring, UGF featured a balanced attack with seven players scoring four or more points. The two leading scorers were sophomore forward Sigman Farmer III and Harris who each had eight. Harris, a 6’1” guard, also led the team with seven rebounds and three assists.

The loss brings the Argo’s record to 10-8 (3-6) with a tough test against (14) Carroll College coming up next. Last time the two teams played the Fighting Saints barely snuck out of the McLaughlin Center with a 47-44 win. This time the two teams will play in Helena, Mont. on Friday, Jan. 29 at 7:30 p.m.

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