Carroll Saints Basketball Sweep MSU-Northern for Second Time - News, Sports and Weather

Carroll Saints Basketball Sweep MSU-Northern for Second Time

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The 14th-ranked Carroll College men's basketball team opened the game with a 12-0 and survived multiple comeback attempts from MSU-Northern to win 83-77 and improved to 10-0 at home on the season.
The Saints jumped out to an early 12-0 lead with 16:05 remaining in the first half, highlighted by breakaway dunks by Ryan Imhoff and Jake Hollifield.  The Lights finally got their feet under them and responded with a 9-2 run to cut the score to 14-9 with 13:19 left in the first half. 
Leading 20-16, Carroll went on a 15-4 run that increased their lead to 35-20 with 6:43 in the first half.   After trading baskets at the end of the half, the Saints took a 50-36 lead into the break.
Carroll opened the second half on an 8-2 run to extend their lead to 56-38 with 17:10 remaining before the Lights battled back with a 10-0 run to cut the lead to 62-54 with 9:51 left in the game. 
Northern slowly chipped the lead down to 77-73 with only 22 seconds remaining but the Saints would go 10-12 from the free throw line in final two minutes to hold on for the six-point win.
Forward Match Burnham scored a career high 24 points with five rebounds and two blocks.  Imhoff scored 12 points and tallied six rebounds.  Point guard Zach Taylor scored eight points and led the game with seven assists.
"We got a really nice rhythm going as far as sharing the ball and knowing what we are looking for." said head coach Carson Cunningham.  "Our freshman are playing at a high intellectual level, it's really impressive."
The Saints' offense scored efficiently going 19-25 (76 percent) in the first half and 29-49 (59.2 percent) overall from the field.  The second best free throw percentage team in country, Carroll shot 20-24 (83.3 percent) from the line.
Carroll improves to 16-5 on the season and remains tied for first place in Frontier Conference at 9-2.  The next game for the Saints is Thursday at Rocky Mountain. 
The Bears are 14-8 overall and 5-5 in conference play and are coming off a pair of wins against No. 3 LCSC and Montana Tech at home.

Cassidy Hashley scored 18 points and grabbed 11 rebounds to lead the 10th-ranked Carroll College women's basketball team to a 55-47 win over No. 15 MSU-Northern Saturday evening at the PE Center in Helena.
After a tightly contested first quarter which ended in a 8-8 tie, the Saints blew the game open by outscoring the Skylights 16-6 in the second frame.  
Carroll started the second quarter with a 10-2 run to build an 18-10. MSUN cut the lead to 18-14 but the Saints closed on a 3-pointer by Bailey Pasta and a pair of free throws from Baylee Watson to take a 24-14 lead into the half.
The Saints pressed the lead to 32-16, the largest of the game, with 7:45 left in the third before the Skylights began to chip away at the lead. The lights scored with 31 seconds left in the quarter to cut the lead to 39-30 at the end of the frame.
MSU-Northern continued to whittle down the lead, cutting it to 43-39 with 3:35 to play. That is as close as they would come as the Saints outscored the Lights 12-8 down the stretch, including 6 of 8 shooting from the free throw line in the final minute.
Eight of Hashley's 18 points came in the fourth quarter. The double-double was her fourth of the season.
"She (Hashley) is big time in the clutch and the girls know it and they kept going back to her," head coach Rachelle Sayers said. "I think that it was a combination of our kids knowing where the ball needs to go and just being unselfish."
Katie Estey was the lone other Saint in double figures with 11 points and seven assists.
The Saints were 19 of 54 (35.2 percent) from the field. Carroll tallied 13 assists and forced the Skylights into 16 turnovers.
Carroll outrebounded MSUN 30-29.
Three Skylights scored in double figures, led by Cydney Auzenne with 13 points.
The Saints strong defensive performance was key to the victory, and especially impressive on the second night of a back-to-back against tanked opponents.
"Defensively we were doing some nice things," head coach Rachlee Sayers said. "I never felt like offensively we were where we wanted to be. That is the nice thing about our defense, we can survive some of those lulls. It was a huge game for us after a big one last night and I am glad to see us persevere through that run."
The Saints have a lone game against Rocky Mountain in Billings next week.  The Bears are on a five-game losing streak that began with a 55-50 setback against Carroll on Jan. 16.

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