HELENA, Mont. – No. 5 Carroll College (Mont.) hung on to defeat the No. 10 LC State Women’s Basketball team on Friday in a tight battle that lived up to the hype. Despite a slim Warrior lead at the half and 26 points from Callie Stevens, the Saints took the contest by a final 91-79.
“Carroll is an excellent team with players at every spot on the floor, and both teams battled for 40 minutes,” Head Coach Caelyn Orlandi said. “Our effort never wavered and I am proud of how hard we always work.”
The game saw the score tied 12 times in the back-and-forth battle before Carroll pulled away in the final minutes.
“It was an offensive game for both teams and unfortunately we did not shoot the ball as well in the fourth as I know we are capable of,” Orlandi added. “We learned some things about ourselves in this game that will help us become better moving forward. We face a very talented Providence team tomorrow and have to put this game behind us and get ready for another great matchup.”
LC State sits at 3-1 after its first loss of the season and face a 7-1 No. 18 Providence (Mont.) on Saturday.
HOW IT HAPPENED
Carroll drew first blood, but Maddie Holm scored the first six Warrior points to give LC an early 6-4 edge in the first quarter. CC responded with back-to-back 3-pointers to take a 10-6 lead. Trailing 12-6, Stevens hit a 3 to bring the Warriors back within three, 12-9, and another basket by Holm had the deficit at one at 5:37.
A pair of foul shots pushed the Saints ahead 14-11, but two by Stevens kept the difference within one. Stevens dropped in a layup at 4:08 and was fouled en route to a three-point play to tie the contest 16-16, and free throws by Holm had the score at 18-18 with three minutes to play in the frame. The back-and-forth continued with tallies by Payton Hymas, Sitara Byrd and Ella Nelson before Stevens put LC in front 25-23 after the first 10 minutes.
The lead continued to change hands in the second frame as a pair of baskets by Hymas kept the Warriors even with Carroll through the first three minutes. Ellie Sander added her first bucket of the contest at 6:52, but the Saints put a pair of baskets together to pull ahead 38-31 by 4:23.
Lindsey Wilson and Holm scored in the second half of the quarter to keep the margin minimal, 39-35, and free throws by Sander had the difference at two at 3:18. A 3 by Stevens made it a one-point game, 41-40, with 2:45 to play and Byrd put LC in front 42-41 with an assist from Sander.
Two foul shots by Byrd moved the LC advantage to 44-41 and Holm put back an offensive board to keep the difference at three in the final minute of the half. LC held a 46-43 lead at the break.
Wilson erased a pair of Saints free throws with two of her own in the opening minute of the third quarter. Byrd hit a jumper to give the Warriors a five-point lead and a triple by Stevens made it 53-47 at 8:17. Carroll rallied to erase the LC State advantage and jump in front 57-53 at 6:12.
A 3 by Sander brought LC back within one before another triple by Stevens tied the score 59-59 at 5:18. Baskets by Stevens and Darian Herring made it 63-61 in favor of the Warriors and foul shots by Stevens had the Warrior advantage at 65-61 by 2:05.
Carroll used a pair of free throws to tie things up 65-65 in the final minute of the third frame before a buzzer-beater by Holm sent the Warriors into the final 10 minutes with a 67-65 lead.
Hymas struck first in the final quarter on an assist from Herring, and Carroll answered with a 3 to keep the score within one, 69-68, at 8:30. Sander used an inbound from Stevens to add to the LC total before the Saints tied the game at 7:24.
CC took the lead with 6:45 to play and stretched the margin to 78-71 by 5:40. Sander completed an and-one play to cut the deficit to four, but the Saints rallied late to pull away 91-79.
Stevens led the Warriors with 26 points with five 3-pointers, and Holm tallied 16 points with nine rebounds. Sander scored 14 points with a career-high six assists.
The Warriors women conclude the road trip on Saturday with a top-25 matchup against the Argos. Tip off in Helena is slated for 1 p.m. PT.
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