(Argo Athletics Media Release)
GREAT FALLS, Mont. – Turnovers continue to be the one glitch holding back the (RV) University of Providence women’s basketball team. The Lady Argos matched (17) Our Lady of the Lake University shot for shot, and outrebounded the Saints 41-28, but committed 25 turnovers in an 80-68 loss at home.
The game was UP’s final non-conference contest of the year and brings the teams record against non-Frontier Conference opponents to 9-2 with both losses coming to top-20 teams. The team’s other loss came against then (3) Freed-Hardeman on November 24.
Through the first 10 minutes of play, the Lady Argos weren’t too bothered by the OLLU press. UP only had 3 turnovers in the first quarter and none of those led to points for the Saints. To go with the clear ball handling, the team made 40 percent of its shots while feeding freshman post Parker Esary for 7 points.
All of that had the Lady Argos ahead by 4 when the second quarter started, but the next two periods weren’t nearly as crisp. In the second quarter, UP turned it over 7 times and most of those were converted into buckets by OLLU, with the Saints scoring 13 points off turnovers.
Those 13 points equaled all of UP’s offensive output in the period, with the team’s shooting percentage dipping to 35 including 20 percent from three.
Down by 6 points entering the second half, the Lady Argos seemed to lose control in the third quarter, committing 10 turnovers in the period’s 10 minutes. To top it off, the team’s shooting got worse. Just 3 of the team’s 14 attempts went through the net and UP founds itself down by 22 with the final 10 minutes left.
OLLU wasn’t getting away from the McLaughlin Center that easy. Led by some suddenly clicking 3-point shooting, the Lady Argos mounted a comeback. With just under five minutes to go the lead was down to 9 points, and UP had the momentum. Another 4 turnovers in those final minutes kept the gap from getting any closer before the final buzzer sounded.
After scoring 11 points in the first half, Esary only managed 2 in the second half. Instead, it was junior Tristan Murphy and sophomore Jenna Randich who supported the team’s leading scorer, senior Stephanie McDonagh in the final few periods.
McDonagh led the team in scoring for the 10th time in 11 games, finishing with 17 points. She also led the team with 5 assists and added 8 rebounds while shooting the best percentage of any Lady Argo with 6-8 shooting.
In the paint, transfer post Tristan Murphy tallied her first double-double as a Lady Argo with 12 points and career high 10 rebounds. She was a key factor in the team’s 41-28 advantage on the glass before she fouled out with just under a minute to go.
UP’s fourth scorer in double figures was guard Jenna Randich who scored all 12 of her points off 4-6 shooting from behind the 3-point arch. She is 6-9 from three in her last two games.
The team’s overall record goes to 10-3 (1-1) with the loss. UP will get back to conference play with a 6 p.m. road game against Montana State University-Northern on January 2.