HELENA — On Thursday against Montana Tech, Carroll College basketball honored their seniors and their fans downing Montana Tech 79-56 for the women, and 80 to 66 for the men.
Though the Fighting Saint women won by 20, it wasn't always that close as Carroll went just 12-34 from the floor in the first half, and the Montana Tech Orediggers took advantage taking a 19-16 lead through the first quarter. Though Carroll struggled early they were able to grit their way through the opening frames to take a slim lead at 32-21 at halftime.
In the second half, the Fighting Saints came alive as they shot over 60% from the floor with Kamden Hilborn leading the charge with 17 points and five assists. The Fighting Saints women had two other players in double-digit points as Jamie Pickens capped off her night with 14 and Maddie Geritz came off the bench and contributed 13 points.
Tavia Rooney led the Orediggers with a game-high 20 points and seven rebounds.
After the women wrapped up, it gave way to a top-15 showdown as the Orediggers and Fighting Saints men jockeyed for the top spot in the Frontier Conference.
In a loud, physical game the Fighting Saints and Orediggers battled back and forth with neither team truly getting an opportunity to pull away as Carroll took a 32-31 lead at the half behind 11 points from Shamrock Campbell. In the first half, only four Orediggers found the bottom of the bucket with Sindou Diallo and Keeley Bake finishing the first half with nine points each.
In the second half, the Fighting Saints worked the game to an eight-point lead at 48-40 with just under 13 minutes to play, before the Orediggers were able to find a rhythm behind Keeley Bake. Following an assist, a steal, a three-pointer, and two made free throws by Bake, the Orediggers were back within striking distance at 48-47 with 11 minutes remaining.
But after that, the Fighting Saints men were able to mix the game back up in their favor putting up 32 points in just over 10 minutes to quash the Orediggers and take the lead in the Frontier Conference Standings with just two games left to play.
Brendan Temple led the Fighting Saints with 18 points, while Caleb Bellach and Keeley Bake led the Orediggers with 16 points each.
Assuming both Carroll and Tech each win their final two games, Carroll would own the tiebreaker with 2-1 regular-season series lead and take the top seed in the Frontier Conference tournament and Tech would take the second seed. The Carroll College women currently sit tied for second in the Frontier Conference with two pivotal matchups left to play in the Rocky Mountain College Battlin' Bears and the University of Providence Argos.