(Editor's Note: Carroll College media release)
HELENA -- The No. 17-ranked Carroll College Fighting Saints roared to a double-digit halftime lead, but lost their footing in the second half, falling 59-51 to No. 22 Montana Western on Friday night in the PE Center.
"We didn't play well in the second half," Saints coach Rachelle Sayers said. "We had opportunities to get on the floor and get loose balls. It's obviously my fault. I'm not coaching them to play the way we need to play to win in this league."
Carroll built a 34-23 halftime lead thanks to a huge second quarter in which the Saints (14-8, 6-4 Frontier Conference) scored 23 points.
That would be more than Carroll could muster in the second half as the Bulldogs (13-7, 6-3) only allowed the Saints to score 17 points. Carroll found ways to score on isolation plays, but couldn't find enough high quality looks in the second half.
Western reeled off 36 points in the second half, closing the game with 22 in the final period.
The Saints looked to be in luck when the Bulldogs turned the ball over with a two-point lead with about a minute remaining in teh game. Dani Wagner caught the errant pass and raced down the court and attempted a layup under heavy duress.
What looked to be a gift from Bulldogs, turned into a missed layup with plenty of contact, and the Saints were forced to put the Bulldogs on the foul line where they boosted their lead.
Wagner scored a game-high 16 points, while Christine Denny added in 11 points to lead the Saints.
The Bulldogs were led by Gracey Meyer and Paige Holmes, who each scored 13 points.
The Saints and Bulldogs are now tied 1-1 in their season series. The final game will be played in Dillon, Montana, on February 15.
Next week, the Saints host Montana Tech on February 5 before traveling to Lewis-Clark State College on February 7.