GREAT FALLS – The University of Providence women’s basketball team begins its 2018-19 season on Saturday when it hosts Mount Royal University in the McLaughlin Center at 5:30 p.m.
The Lady Argos are coming off their third trip to the NAIA national tournament in the past four years and were picked to finish third in the Frontier Conference behind Carroll and Montana Western.
But a lot of the firepower for the Argos in 2017-18 came from senior all-American guard Stephanie McDonagh, who averaged 17.6 points per game last year.
McDonagh has graduated, but head coach Bill Himmelberg does return four of his top five scorers from last year. Sophomore post Parker Esary averaged 14.5 points and eight rebounds as a freshman and was selected to the Frontier preseason all-conference team.
Junior guard Jenna Randich and sophomore guard Emilee Maldonado both averaged more than nine points per game and will be called upon to lead a young but talented Argo squad that features two seniors, two juniors, five sophomores and eight freshmen.
“We have a bunch of freshmen who are going to play, a bunch of sophomores who are going to play, so it’s going to be imperative that our young girls grow up and grow up fast with our non-conference schedule, because it’s going to be a tough year,” Himmelberg said.
“We have spots to be filled,” added Randich. “We need to find girls that we can rely on and we need to find ways to fill those big shoes left by Stephanie — not as a single player, but as a team.”