(Editor's note: Providence press release.)
GREAT FALLS — One night after defeating #4 Carroll College in Helena, the defending NAIA National Champion Thomas More Saints pulled into the Electric City and picked up a 75-49 win over the University of Providence Saturday night.
The Saints built an eight-point lead after 10 minutes of play and increased the lead to 17 at the half, shooting 8-20 from the three-point line and nearly 47% from the field in the first 20 minutes. Alex Smith led TMU off the bench with 21 points, Rylee Turner added nine, Zoie Barth chipped in eight as the number one team in the country improves to 3-0. The Saints finished 46.5% from the field including a 12-29 effort from three-point range and outrebounded the Argos 36-30.
"They are the defending for a reason," says Providence Head Coach Bill Himmelberg. "I think a lot of our stuff was self-inflicted. We didn't execute as well as we could have."
The Argos shot 19-64 from the floor (29.6%) and were led by Brooklyn Harn's 12 points. Kenedy Cartwright added 10 points and six rebounds. Reed Hazard scored seven, while McKenna Reggear had six points, six boards. Alicia Oatis also had eight points off the bench.
Himmelberg says Providence's youth showed Saturday, "We are a young team that made some mistakes that were compounded, and then we hung our heads. Just gotta do a better job of coaching them up and help them get better."
That next chance comes Monday morning when the Argos (3-1) play at Montana State in an exhibition game. The Bobcat women are the defending Big Sky Conference champions and feature Darian White and Kola Bad Bear. The game will be MSU's field trip game with more than 5,000 grade school and middle schoolers in attendance. Coverage begins at 11 AM and can be viewed at www.upargos.com.