(Editor's note: Providence press release.)
GREAT FALLS — It took the full 40 minutes, but in the end, the University of Providence women held off MSU-Northern 66-59 Thursday night in the Frontier Conference lid-lifter for both teams.
Providence started out strong with the Argos jumping out to an 11-1 lead before MSU-Northern answered closing the quarter on a mini 6-3 run to trail by just six after the opening period. In the second quarter, Maddy Dixon and Brooklyn Harn each scored five points to give the Argos a 39-22 lead at the half.
The third quarter saw Briaunna McCullough and Shyan Krass combine for 11 points, cutting the lead to 55-40. The Argos would build a 21-point lead late in the 3rd, only to see the Skylights flip the script defensively along with McCullough scoring eight of her game-high 22 points as MSU-Northern closed to within four thanks to a 14-0 run over the course of four minutes. With the score 61-57, graduate student Reed Hazard hit a deep three to end the drought for the Argos with 1:15 remaining and scoring again on a layup a minute later to give UP the cushion it needed to hang on for the win.
McCullough finished 6-18 from the field but was 8-10 from the line for the Skylights (3-3, 0-1) with Krass and Sydney Hansen each scoring 10 off the bench. MSU-N was outrebounded by the Argos 40-26 with Krass grabbing 10 rebounds to give her a double-double.
"Our experience helped us in the end, and we made some good shots," according to Argo Head Coach Bill Himmelberg. "They are a good team. Chris (MSU-N head coach) had them prepared and they threw some stuff at us there in the second half."
Hazard scored a team-high 18 adding five rebounds, with Dixon scoring 14 points with 8 rebounds. Kenedy Cartwright added 12 points and five boards. Brooklyn Harn scored nine points and grabbed six rebounds with McKenna Reggear chipping in nine points and seven rebounds. Alicia Oatis also pulled down seven rebounds off the bench. But it was the big shots by Hazard in the final 75 seconds that Himmelberg was a fan of, "Reed kind of took over the game there at the end and did a good job. They were focused on Brooklyn, and Reed handled us down the stretch hitting some big shots.
"These types of games are good learning experiences for us."
Providence (7-1, 1-0) continues Frontier Conference play Saturday afternoon traveling to Rocky Mountain College which was a 59-42 winner at Montana Tech Thursday. MSU-Northern plays host to Frontier preseason favorite No. 9 Carroll College Saturday.
The Providence at Rocky game Saturday begins at 2 PM and can be watched live at www.upargos.com.
The men's Frontier opener between the University of Providence and MSU-Northern men was everything one would expect from two great coaches and two rival teams. It took two extra sessions before the Argos held off the Lights 82-77 in double overtime to secure the victory.
Kenny Curtis scored 20 first-half points to lead the Argos to a 37-28 halftime lead and Providence built as much as a 19-point lead with 13 minutes to play and were up fifteen with just over five minutes remaining before the Lights started heating up.
Myles Dalton hit a three to cut the deficit to six with three minutes left, Tanner McCliment-Call drained a triple, Dalton hit another with 1:15 left to make it a three-point game, and with 19 seconds left, it was McCliment-Call tying the game at 63 with another long ball. The Argos had a chance to win the game in regulation, but Jake Olsen and Drayton Caoile each missed down low to send the game to overtime number one.
In the first OT, Curtis would give the Argos a four-point lead, then a Sam Vining jumper put UP up five with two minutes left. Jesse Keltner would cut the lead to three with a bucket in the paint, followed by a Zackry Martinez three-pointer with 11 seconds left sent the game to a second five-minute period.
Dae'Kwon Watson opened the scoring in OT number two to give MSU-Northern a 71-69 lead. With the score tied at 75, Eric Milner, the reigning Erck Hotels/Frontier Conference Player of the Week made a layup to give the Argos the lead back and Providence would seal the game from the free throw line.
Five players scored in double figures for the Lights (7-1, 0-1) led by Dalton and Martinez who each scored 14. Keltner and McCliment-Call added 12 apiece with Keltner getting a double-double with 10 rebounds. Immanuel Anderson also had a double-double with 10 points and 11 rebounds.
Providence was led by Curtis who scored a career-high 29 before fouling out in the first overtime. Curtis also went 5-6 from distance. Jake Olsen scored 13 points and grabbed 17 rebounds, adding three steals and two blocks. Milner chipped in 12 points and Sam Vining added 11.
Both teams shot 79 times with the Argos making 30, the Lights 29. Providence won the rebounding contest 43-38.
Overall, an exciting game says Head Coach Steve Keller, "Give them credit because we had them down 19 and they hit big threes. Resiliency is the word for us. We had it won twice, and we found a way to win it a third time. Give our guy's credit, give them credit for fighting back.
"Any win you get in the Frontier Conference in any place is huge. I am just really proud of our guys."
MSU-Northern lost for the first time this season and returns to Havre to host number 23 Carroll College on Saturday.
Providence (6-3, 1-0) travels to Billings the same day to battle Rocky Mountain College. That game tips off at 4 PM and can be watched live at www.upargos.com.