(Editor's Note: Argo Athletics media release)
GREAT FALLS – Emilee Maldonado had 12 points and three assists in the second half to propel the University of Providence women's basketball team over Montana Western 71-62.
The Argos (7-4, 7-4) got some revenge with their win, avenging their previous 30 point loss to the Bulldogs (14-5, 12-5) from two weeks earlier.
"They were ready," head coach Bill Himmelberg said. "They came out with good energy. Western is such a good team. They play so hard. Brynley Fitzgerald was amazing tonight for them. They gave us everything we could handle. We had a good game plan and our girls executed it."
Maldonado finished the game with 22 points, seven rebounds and six assists. Parker Esary finished with 18 points and eight rebounds. Maddy Dixon chipped in 11 points, eight rebounds and three blocks. Himmelberg believes that his four wings Kenedy Cartwright, Brooklyn Harn, Reed Hazard and Kerstyn Pimperton were the difference tonight for the team.
"Reed tonight was big, executing the game plan," he said. "Kerstyn Pimperton did really well with the ball, driving into the teeth of the defense, taking care of it, kicking. Brooklyn Harn had some really good drives tonight. Kenedy guarded three different girls tonight. I'm so proud of all those kids."
Brynley Fitzgerald led the Bulldogs with 19 points, including draining 3 three-pointers.
The Argos will conclude their regular season this weekend, with a pair of games against Rocky Mountain College. The Frontier Conference Playoffs will begin next week, with the opening round beginning on Thursday.
MEN: Providence 81, Montana Western 76
Five players scored in double-figures as the No. 10 University of Providence men's basketball team defeated Montana Western 81-76 to clinch the regular season Frontier Conference championship.
"It was awesome," head coach Steve Keller said. "They played great the first half. We just found a way. We've been resilient all year long. They're a very, very good basketball team. They're very athletic, bigger, but give our kids credit they found a way to win a game they probably shouldn't have."
The Bulldogs (7-10, 6-10) got off to a quick double-digit lead when both Zaccheus Darko-Kelly and Jaxen Hashley drew two quick fouls. The concern grew when they each picked up a third foul later in the half, but Davien Harris-Williams paced the way with 11 first-half points to cut the deficit to 41-33 at the half.
"What was big is we survived that," head coach Steve Keller said. "We can't have those two both sitting on the bench. We just found a way to win."
The Bulldogs held onto the lead until 7:18 in the 4th quarter, until Harris-Williams shot a layup to give the Argos a 62-60 lead. The Argos never conceded the lead for the rest of the game.
After being held scoreless in the first half, Zaccheus Darko-Kelly ended the game with 14 points, eight assists in five rebounds. Jaxen Hashley also added 14 points, along with eight rebounds. Marcus Stephens and Davien Harris-Williams both added 13 points, while Cap Uzan added 10. Dawson Fowler was his usual self, recording nine points, seven rebounds and four assists.
Jalen Hodges led the Bulldogs with 21 points. Max Clark put up a solid performance for the Bulldogs, scoring 16 points, dropping eight assists and grabbing four rebounds. Jamal Stephenson chipped in 13 points.
The win solidifies the Argos (13-2, 13-2) as Frontier Conference champions. The team also earned a #1 seed for the Frontier Conference Tournament, which will begin next week, regardless of what happens this week against Rocky Mountain.
"We have been trying to get this program going," Keller said. "We just won a conference championship in a great league. There are five other really good teams in this league that are tough to beat any given night and we found a way to win to win the conference championship. I'm just so proud of our guys. We earned it and they deserve it."