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No. 7 Carroll College men’s basketball handles MSU-Northern

Posted at 11:12 PM, Feb 14, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-15 14:14:25-05

(Editor’s Note: Carroll College athletics release)

HELENA — A little over a week after suffering a setback in Havre, the No. 7 Carroll College Fighting Saints avenged its loss and thumped Montana State-Northern 75-45 on Thursday night in the PE Center.

Match Burnham led the Saints with 31 points on 9-for-17 shooting, including a 10-for-12 game from the foul line.

It was an especially impressive victory for the Saints, who have dealt with injuries, suspensions and illness leading into the game on Thursday.

“People don’t realize what this team is going through,” Saints coach Kurt Paulson told Sports 94.9. “We have hardly any bodies. We have sickness, injuries and these guys keep fighting. We knew this was a must-win. This was a season-setting win.”

The Saints built a double-digit lead with four minutes left in the first half and suffocated Northern the rest of the way. The Lights shot just 28 percent from the field, 16 percent from the three-point line and 67 percent from the free throw line.

Carroll, on the other hand, polished a gem of a performance. The Saints shot 55 percent from the field, 45 percent from the three-point line and 78 percent from the foul line.

Carroll’s defense held the Lights to 45 points, the lowest output the Saints have allowed since Jan. 11, 2018.

“The defensive effort was unbelievable,” Paulson said. “We had four kids with the flu who barely practiced this week, and then they came out and did that.

“We decided the best thing Northern does is drive middle on you. We emphasized keeping them out of the middle.”

Carroll also had double figures from Dane Warp (15) and Ife Kalejaiye (13). Jovan Sljivancanin added seven points and a game-high nine rebounds.

Carroll’s defense held the Lights to 45 points, the lowest output the Saints have allowed since Jan. 11, 2018.

The Saints are back in the PE Center on Saturday when they welcome in No. 22 Providence.