(Editors note: This is a Carroll College Athletics Department release.)
HELENA, Mont. — In a Top 10 battle, the Saints defended their home court.
No. 7 Carroll College’s defense stiffened and Hannah Dean, Brittney Johnson and Emma Madsen combined for 41 points as the Saints handled No. 8 Westmont 59-50 on Monday night in the PE Center.
Even when the easy buckets weren’t falling, the Saints (3-1) stayed aggressive.
“We missed so many easy hoops,” Saints coach Rachelle Sayers said. “We missed a ton of easy drives. The kids just stuck with it. They kept fighting. They kept rebounding. They just kept playing hard. Eventually I felt like our bench was able to wear them down.”
Carroll held Westmont’s top scorers to well below their season averages, but Iyree Jarrett powered the Warriors with a game-high 20 points. Eventually, the Warriors’ seven player rotation couldn’t keep pace.
“We didn’t sub a lot in the first half,” Sayers said. “We were able to sub in the second half. Our kids were fresher.”
The two sides stayed tight, battling to a 10-all tie at the end of the first quarter. Then, Carroll took a five-point lead into halftime at 27-22.
Once the Saints grabbed control, they never relinquished their lead. Carroll kept Westmont (3-2) at bay in the final two quarters, holding the Warriors to 33 percent shooting from the field.
The Saints used 19 assists to score 23 buckets, which Sayers felt was the difference on Monday.
“That tells you that your team is playing together, really focusing on what’s working and who we need to get the ball to,” Sayers said. “I thought they did a tremendous job.”
Dean and Johnson both had 14 points while Madsen had 13, her career high as a Saint.
Six Saints scored on the night, as Sayers played 11 players, including some away from their natural positions.
“God bless Christine Denny,” Sayers said. “She started at the four when we lost Cassie (Kosena). Christine played four positions tonight. She played on top of the zone. She played on the bottom of the zoe. I can’t say enough about a kid like that.”
Denny finished with eight points, a team-high six assists, four rebounds, and a team-high three steals.
Saints redshirt sophomore guard Dani Wagner pulled down a game-high nine rebounds, while scoring six points.
“Dani is just a workhorse,” Sayers said. ”She’s a warrior. We’re getting her offense going. She’s going to cause havoc. She’s going to break out.”
The Saints next travel to Billings to take on Valley City State and Montana State Billings on Saturday and Sunday, respectively.