GREAT FALLS, Mont. – If not for an ice-cold third quarter from the University of Providence women's basketball team, UP's first round playoff game against Lewis-Clark State College would have gone down to the wire. Even with the team shooting 25 percent in that 10 minute stretch, it was still a one-score game with eight seconds left, but it did go the Lady Argo's way in a 74-69 loss.
A controversial foul call with just over 40 seconds left played a major factor in the outcome. UP's senior guard Molly Herron looked to have her second straight steal, giving UP a chance to get the gap down to 2 points. Just as she started to break into transition with the ball, a whistle was blown to call her for a foul and 30 more seconds came off the clock before the Lady Argos got the ball back.
Another major factor was foul trouble for UP post Tristan Murphy. The junior played the best offensive game of her career, scoring 20 points on 9-12 shooting, but she was limited to 19 minutes on the floor due to fouls.
Her and senior guard Stephanie McDonagh accounted for 38 of UP's 69 points, with McDonagh scoring 18 along with 8 rebounds.
The loss knocks the Lady Argos out of the Frontier Conference playoffs and puts the team squarely on the bubble for an at-large bid to the 2018 NAIA Division I Women's Basketball Championship.