Highlights from the University of Providence and Montana Tech men's and women's games held on Friday, January 19th.
The (14) University of Providence women's basketball team shot the ball fairly well against Montana Tech, but other than that, there wasn't much that went the Lady Argo's way in a 90-62 loss to Montana Tech. Tech's 90 points were the most scored on the Lady Argos all year, and UP had its second most turnovers of the year with 23.
Tech started the game on a 7-0 run but UP got a few good post touches to freshman Parker Esary to answer. With three minutes left in the first quarter, senior guard Stephanie McDonagh made a layup to bring the score to 15-13 in favor of the Orediggers. That would be as close as the Lady Argos would get for the rest of the game.
Over last three minutes of the period, UP turned the ball over 4 times and came a buzzer-beating transition layup from Esary away from being down 10 after 10 minutes of play.
After Esary scored UP’s first 4 points of the game, the Diggers recognized that stopping her once she got the ball was unlikely, and instead focused on denying her the ball altogether. The Lady Argos continued to try and feed her the ball, but as often as not those passes got picked off and turned into transition points for Tech.
Perhaps the most shocking development in the first half was Tech's ability to outrebound a Lady Argo squad that ranks 9th in the NAIA in rebounding margin. By the end of the first half, the Diggers had 20 boards to UP's 14, including 8 offensive rebounds.
That differential along with the Lady Argo’s 11 first half turnovers and Tech’s 51 percent shooting meant a 20 point deficit at the half for UP.
The second half played out largely the same as the first, with UP struggling to hang on to the ball and Tech scoring almost at will.
McDonagh was the lone bright spot through three quarters. With three minutes left in the third quarter, the senior had 16 of the Lady Argo’s 39 points, accounting for 41 percent of the team’s scoring. She got a little more help in the fourth quarter, but the team still couldn’t stop Tech on the defensive end.
Esary tallied up her fourth career double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds and added 2 blocks and 2 steals on the defensive end. McDonagh finished with a team leading 18 points to bring her streak of consecutive double-digit scoring efforts to 17.
The loss ends a six game winning streak for the Lady Argos who technically will still hold the lone first place spot in the Frontier Conference with a record of 15-4 (6-2) but that will likely end in a tie soon with both Carroll College and Rocky Mountain College sitting at 5-2 and playing within 24 hours.
UP will look to start a new winning streak with a home game against (RV) University of Montana Western on January 26 at 5:30 p.m.
All four of the University of Providence men's basketball team's senior guards made critical plays in the final 10 minutes of a much-needed 70-62 win over Montana Tech. The Orediggers led most of the night, and with just under three minutes to go it was still a one-possession game, but 2 huge threes from senior Sergio Berkley created enough separation for UP pull out its second win in three games.
After Tech led for the last 13 minutes of the first half, and first 9 minutes of the second half, the Argos turned the momentum on great plays at both ends from senior Jared Schultz. The guard started with a steal on the defensive end, with the Diggers leading by 3. He then tied the game eight second later with his first 3-point field goal of the night.
With the score tied at 46-46 both team's offenses came grinding to a half and for the next two minutes no one could break the deadlock. Finally, the ball came back to Schultz and he hit a midrange jumper to put the Argos ahead for the first time since six minutes into the first half.
Shooting 6-7 from the field, 2-3 from three, and 7-8 from the free-throw line, Berkley led the Argos with 21 points. Fellow senior DuShaun Rice had an equally impactful performance with 16 points, 3 rebounds, 3 assists, and 2 blocks.
The win avenges a loss to Tech just the night prior and gives the Argos two wins in the past three games, bringing the team's record to 9-9 (3-5).