(Argo Athletics Media Release)
GREAT FALLS -– That was one for the history books.
Down nine at half, No. 10 University of Providence men's basketball team scored 79 points in the games final thirty minutes, securing a 118-110 double overtime victory over Montana Western.
"I don't know what I witnessed," head coach Steve Keller said. "I'm not sure how we won it but we found a way. We had to fight through a lot of adversity. We made a lot of mental mistakes in crunch time. We had them down a couple of times and we let them back in. We just have to learn. You're lucky you can learn lessons and still win the game."
Trailing 48-39 at the halftime, the Argos spent a majority of the second-half playing catch up. They finally took the lead with a little over six minutes left, when Rashee Stocks hit a big corner three to give the Argos a 74-72 lead.
The squad found themselves up 85-78 with 56 seconds left in regulation when things began to unravel. After two made Bulldog free throws, Davien Harris-Williams was fouled and went to the free throw line. After making the first, he received a delay-of-game technical foul, giving the Bulldogs a free throw. Harris-Williams then made the second free throw, giving the Argos an 87-81 lead.
Zaccheus Darko-Kelly got called for an intentional foul on the next possession, allowing the Bulldogs two more free throws and the ball back, cutting the lead to four with 31 seconds remaining. On the next play, Jalen Hodges was fouled by Marcus Stephens, fouling him out of the game. Hodges made the first attempt but missed the second, and Max Clark got the offensive rebound. After a couple of missed shots Jamal Stephenson drained a three to tie the game at 87 with five seconds remaining. After a timeout, Darko-Kelly missed two potential game-winning layups, and the Argos were forced to regroup in overtime.
The teams exchanged leads three times in the first overtime period. With the Argos up 100-97 with 13 seconds left, Tanner Haverfield made a fading three from four feet beyond the arc to send the game to a second overtime.
After a back and forth start to the second overtime, the Argos found themselves with a 110-106 lead with 55 seconds left. Darko-Kelly missed a three from the top of the key, but JF Daho got an offensive rebound. After stalling to waste time, Darko-Kelly drew two defenders and passed to Daho in the corner, who drained the three to secure the victory for the squad.
"We're resilient, let's put it that way," Keller said. "This was a big win for us."
Six Argos scored in double-figures for the Argos (8-1, 8-1), including 37 points, 13 rebounds and eight assists from Darko-Kelly. Stocks added a career-high 21 points, including 16 points in the second half to propel the squad's second half momentum.
"Rashee was the difference," Keller said. "He's been so due. He got us going. He played great in the second half. He helped us find a way to win."
Harris-Williams scored 18 points and dished out three assists while Stephens chipped in 17 points, seven rebounds and three assists. Cap Uzan filled the stat sheet with 12 points, seven assists, four rebounds and three steals, while Jake Olsen finished with 10 points and nine rebounds.
The Bulldogs (3-8, 2-8) had three players over 25 points. Tanner Haverfield and Jamal Stephenson both finished with 31 points, while Jalen Hodges added 26 points. Max Clark nearly finished with a triple-double, recording 10 points, 12 rebounds and eight assists.
"We just did a great job," Keller said. "We found a way to win. Give them a lot of credit, they played extremely well."
The Argos will only get two days to recover from the game, as they'll be back this weekend with a double-header against Montana Tech. They'll tip off with the Orediggers on Saturday at 7 p.m. and Sunday at 4 p.m.
WOMEN: Montana Western 73, Providence 43
The University of Providence women's basketball had a tough night Wednesday evening, falling to Montana Western 73-43.
The Bulldogs got off to a hot start, winning the first quarter 20-9 before going into halftime with a 43-17 lead. The Argos came out strong out of the break, outscoring the Bulldogs 18-13 in the third quarter, but it wasn't enough to overcome the strong start.
Emilee Maldonado led the way for the Argos, recording 12 points, seven assists and three rebounds. Parker Esary and Kerstyn Pimperton both added six points, while Reed Hazard and Kenedy Cartwright scored five points a piece.
Brynley Fitzgerald led the way for the Bulldogs with 22 points, six rebounds and three assists. Sydney Sheridan added 10 points, six rebounds and two assists.
The Argos will have a quick turnaround, as they'll take on Montana Tech for a double-header this weekend. They'll take on the Orediggers on Saturday night at 5 p.m. and Sunday afternoon at 2 p.m.