GREAT FALLS — Carroll College used a big third quarter to get past Providence in the semifinals after trailing at halftime Monday at the Frontier Conference women's basketball tournament. The Saints' performance was good enough to submit their ticket to the the championship game, where they will contend for their fourth title in six seasons.
Montana Western survived a fourth-quarter comeback from the defending champs, Rocky Mountain College, to set a date with Carroll in the title game. Carroll and Western will play for the championship on Tuesday at 6 p.m.
Carroll 67, Providence 52
The Saints would take a 17-9 lead late in the first quarter after a banked three pointer from Kamden Hilborn to beat the shot clock. But Providence would respond with a small run to cut into the lead. McKenna Reggar knocked down a jumper as she faded away from the basket, then Delaney Pink would follow up with an and one, cutting the lead to 17-14.
By the end of the quarter, Carroll led 20-16. But Providence would claim the lead in the second quarter after a corner three from Brooklyn Harn. They held Carroll to just 8 points in the second half and Providence led 30-28 at the break.
Saints responded in a big way coming out the locker room. A 12-2 run to start the quarter gave them all the momentum they needed. After back to back jumpers from Sienna Swannack and Kyndall Keller in the final minute of the third, Carroll had a 53-40 lead heading into the fourth. They would maintain that lead throughout the fourth, propelling them into the title game.
Jamie Pickens scored a game high 26 points and added 12 rebounds to the stat sheet as well. Reed Hazard was the frontrunner for the Argo, finishing with 13.
UM Western 64, Rocky 55
Western jumped out to a 10-2 lead in the first quarter, but the Bears responded with a run to cut it to 15-14 after Ky Buell’s buzzer beater to end the period. As it got midway through the second quarter, the game was tied at 21 but Western went on to score six unanswered points. Kloie Thatcher put in a basket for Rocky to stop the bleeding but they still trailed 27-23 going into half-time.
Trading basket for basket in the third, the two teams alternated taking the lead but Western would create a gap in the score late in the third and head into the fourth with a 47-38 lead. The Bulldogs extended that lead to double digits in the fourth but the game was far from over.
Thatcher got back to back buckets for the Bears in the midst of a run, then Gracee Lekvold put in a 3-pointer that cut the lead down to 68-55. Jordan Sweeney came down in the clutch and drilled the pull up shot for the dagger. Western would make free throws to seal the deal and advance to the championship.
Sweeney put up a game high 31 points, shooting 4 for 5 from beyond the arc. Thatcher stuffed the stat sheet for the Bears with 21 points, four assist, four steals, and four rebounds.