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Providence basketball teams sweep visiting Carroll College

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Posted at 10:30 AM, Jan 11, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-11 12:30:49-05

(Editor's note: University of Providence media releases)

GREAT FALLS – The Providence men's and women's basketball teams earned a Sunday sweep of visiting Carroll College. The No. 25 Providence women handed the Fighting Saints their first Frontier Conference loss of the season with an 83-80 overtime win, while the UP men improved to 4-0 on the season with a 73-64 win.

Providence women 83, Carroll College 80 (OT)

After dropping a game to No. 6 Carroll College on Saturday night, the 25th-ranked University of Providence women's basketball team responded forcefully Sunday afternoon, topping the Fighting Saints in overtime 83-80.

The Argos (2-2 overall, 2-2 Frontier Conference) were down 69-66 with 31 seconds left in regulation. Kenedy Cartwright responded with a quick drive for a layup to cut the lead to one. The Argos fouled Carroll's Christine Denny, who went 1 of 2 from the charity stripe. The Argos went to their bread and butter, putting Emilee Maldonado and Parker Esary into a screen and roll, resulting in a Esary bucket. The Fighting Saints missed a shot at the buzzer, sending the game into overtime.

The Argos raced out to a quick overtime lead after buckets from Esary and Maddie Dixon. Esary fouled out with 2:30 left, but the Argos remained vigilant and pulled out the victory to give the Fighting Saints (11-2, 5-1) their first Frontier Conference loss.

"That was a big win," UP head coach Bill Himmelberg said. "They're such a good program. It was a tough win from top to bottom. A lot of different people made shots when they needed too. I thought everybody provided something."

Esary had a monster game, ending with 28 points, six rebounds, three assists, three steals and two blocks. Dixon finished with 18 points and eight rebounds, while Maldonado recorded 17 points, eight rebounds and six assists.

The Fighting Saints had three players score 16 points: Maddie Geritz, Jamie Pickens and Sienna Swannack. Denny chipped in 13 points, while Kamden Hilborn scored nine points and dished out five assists.

"They're a good team," Himmelberg said. "Carroll's guards are so good."

The Argos will return to the court next Saturday, hosting the Battlin' Bears (1-3, 1-3) from Rocky Mountain College.

Providence men 73, Carroll College 64

A big second-half effort from the 14th-ranked University of Providence men's basketball team propelled the Argos to a 73-64 victory over Carroll College Saturday night.

Tied at 31 at the half, the Argos switched preseason All-American Zaccheus Darko-Kelly to point guard to counter the aggressive defense from the Fighting Saints. The adjustment paid off: Darko-Kelly nearly recorded a triple-double, and usual point guard Cap Uzan finished with 22 points, including several big shots down the stretch.

"We started going the second half a little bit," UP head coach Steve Keller said. "We put Z at the point because he can see over the hard hedges, and Cap hit some big 3s at the two for us. Just that little adjustment made a big deal for us. Z had a bunch of assists. That was the difference in the second half, we got the ball in his hands more."

Darko-Kelly finished with nine points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists while Uzan finished with 22 points and three assists. Marcus Stephens added 12 points for the Argos, while Dawson Fowler contributed 10 points and four steals.

The Fighting Saints were led by Gui Pedra for the second straight night. Pedra finished with 12 points and eight rebounds, while Dennis Flowers III added 11 points and Brendan Temple scored 10. The Argos held the Saints' two leading scorers on the season, Shamrock Campbell and Jovan Sljivancanin, to eight points each.

"Defensively we were great all night long," Keller said. "We'll do whatever we need to do to try and win the game."

The Argos (4-0, 4-0) will return to the floor next Saturday at 7 p.m. to take on Rocky Mountain College (1-3, 1-3).

"So far we've taken business at home and we have to try and get a couple of more," Keller said.