LEWISTON, Idaho — The Carroll College men picked up a win to advance to the next round of the NAIA men's basketball national tournament behind Shamrock Campbell's 26-point effort over the Arizona Christian Firestorm, while the Carroll College women tried their hardest to claw back from a slow start but faltered against the Lewis-Clark State Warriors.
Carroll College men 83, Arizona Christian University 79 (NAIA national tournament opening round)
Starting Friday, it was win or go home for the Carroll College men. The Fighting Saints were able to hang on and down the Arizona Christian Firestorm, 83-79.
The Firestorm got off to a quick start with the first five points of the game, but Carroll’s Shamrock Campbell caught fire shortly thereafter.
The Fighting Saints junior was a perfect 8 for 8, with four 3-pointers for 20 first-half points to give Carroll a 39-35 lead.
Campbell slowed down in the second half and finished with 26 points but was near perfect, missing just one 3-point shot to go 11 of 12 from the floor.
The second half was the Jovan Sljivancanin show for the Fighting Saints. Sljivancanin came alive and put up 18 points with eight rebounds.
Carroll was able to pull away by 10 points midway through the second half, but the Firestorm hung around as Darius Goudeau and Angelo Johnson put up 21 and 17 points, respectively.
Late in the game, the Firestorm had narrowed that double-digit lead to just one point with about 25 seconds on the clock. Carroll College head coach Kurt Paulson called a timeout and drew up a play that would put the ball in the hands of the night’s best shooter, Campbell.
Cambell buried the shot to give Carroll an 82-79 lead with 20 seconds left, and the Firestorm weren't able to knock down another shot.
The Fighting Saints will head back to Kansas City for what would have been the third year in a row had the COVID-19 pandemic not canceled the 2020 NAIA national basketball tournament.
Carroll College has now secured a spot in the Round of 16, which starts on March 18.
The last time the Fighting Saints went to Kansas City was in 2019 when they were NAIA national tournament runners-up, falling to Georgetown College 68-48 in the championship game.
Lewis-Clark State women 76, Carroll College 67 (NAIA national tournament opening round)
Led by Columbia Falls native Kiara Burlage, the Lewis-Clark State Warriors upended the Carroll College women 76-67 to advance to the Round of 16 in the NAIA national tournament and send the Fighting Saints packing.
The Fighting Saints women got off to a slow start Saturday, going 8 of 36 from the floor and scoring 21 points in the first half.
Burlage led the game with 27 points, going 3 of 7 from 3-point range, to go with seven rebounds and four assists.
Jamie Pickens recorded a double-double in the effort with 26 points and 11 rebounds for the Saints.
The Fighting Saints trailed for nearly the entire game, getting as close as down by two points in the third quarter, but the Warriors always had an answer and were able to fend off the Frontier Conference champions.
With the win, the Lewis-Clark State Warriors will now head to Sioux City, Iowa for the NAIA national tournament, which starts on March 18.
The Fighting Saints’ season now comes to an end with a record of 21-3.