(Editor's note: Rocky Mountain College media releases)
BILLINGS – Rocky Mountain College and Providence split a men's and women's basketball doubleheader at the Fortin Center on Thursday. The No. 11 Providence men rallied in the second half for an 88-79 win, while the 24th-ranked Rocky women used a balanced attack en route to a 75-66 win.
Providence men 88, Rocky Mountain College 79
Rocky Mountain College was unable to hold onto a halftime lead over the No. 11 ranked team in the nation in a 88-79 loss to the University of Providence Argos.
Despite the Argos shooting 53.33 percent from the floor in the first period, the Battlin' Bears led 40-38 at halftime. However, Providence outscored Rocky 50-39, including 24 points from Zaccheus Darko-Kelly, in the second period to claim the victory.
Both Darko-Kelly and Clayton Ladine flirted with triple doubles on the night. Darko-Kelly had a team-high 31 points, 12 rebounds, and a team-high eight assists for the Argos. Ladine had 19 points, a team-high eight rebounds, and a team-high nine assists for the Battlin' Bears.
The Argos finished the night shooting 54.5 percent from the field in comparison to a 46.7 field goal percentage from the Battlin' Bears. From beyond the arc on the night, Rocky held the advantage as the Battlin' Bears shot 42.9 percent in contrast to Providence's 33.3 percent.
A big part of Rocky's success from deep came from Sam Vining who landed 6-of-10 from beyond the arc for 18 points.
Rocky's Grant Wallace scored a team-high 21 points with five rebounds while Darius Henderson scored 13 points.
Providence's Jaxen Hashley had 19 points and a team-high 13 rebounds. Rashee Stocks scored 13 points in addition to 10 from Dawson Fowler.
The Argos held a 40-28 edge in boards on the night.
The Battlin' Bears will next play MSU-Northern in the Fortin Education Center on Saturday.
Rocky Mountain College women 75, Providence 66
Four Battlin' Bears scored in double digits as No. 24 ranked Rocky Mountain College defeated University of Providence 75-66 Thursday night.
The Argos began the game on a 6-0 run, but the Battlin' Bears responded with a 16-4 run to end the first period at 16-10. Rocky remained in control of the lead for the rest of the game. Late in the game Providence surged, drawing the deficit to only a point on three separate occasions. However, Rocky stayed ahead each time to secure their sixth conference win of the season.
The Argos relied heavily on their starting five with only Reed Hazard's two points coming from the bench.
Rocky finished the night shooting 43.1 percent from the field and 26.1 percent from beyond the arc. Providence, on the other hand, shot 39.6 percent from the field and 31.6 percent from deep.
"I thought we executed well offensively tonight and played well against a tough team," said Rocky's head women's basketball coach, Wes Keller. "Proud of how the team fended off Providence's run late in the game."
Markaela Francis posted 23 points with nine rebounds and six assists which led the Battlin' Bears in all three categories. Grace Parker had 12 points and nine rebounds. Kloie Thatcher had 17 points while Destinee Pointer scored 12.
Providence's Emilee Maldonado scored a team-high 18 points. Parker Esary scored 15 points while Bailey Cartwright had 13 points and a team-high six rebounds. Jenna Randich scored 11 points.
The Battlin' Bears held a slight 31-30 edge on the glass.
Rocky will remain at home to play No. 18 ranked MSU-Northern on Saturday in the Fortin Education Center.