(Editor’s Note: University of Providence Athletics release)
PHOENIX, Ariz. – The No. 13 Argos (9-3) battled to the end but fell to the No. 14 Menlo College Oaks (8-1) in an extremely competitive 71-68 loss during the 2018 Phoenix Frontier Classic on Wednesday.
Emilee Maldonado had a day as she led all scorers and the only player to surpass the 20-point mark with 24. She also grabbed three steals, three rebounds, and dished out a pair of assists. Parker Esary earned her eighth double-double of the season as she knocked down 16 points, while also tallying 13 boards. Tristan Murphy also joined Esary with double-digit rebounds, collecting 10.
The opening period was back and forth between the Argos and the Oaks, which included four ties, until the score was knotted at 17 followed by two Menlo free throws that closed out the period in the favor of the Oaks, 19-17.
A layup from Maldonado tied things up to open the second at 19. The Oaks would retake the advantage and hold a lead until Maldonado hit a three and a layup, followed by a free throw from Reed Hazard would bring things back even at 27 with three and a half minutes to go. The Oaks would close out the half on a 10-1 run to send the game into half with the Argos facing a nine-point deficit, 37-28.
The Oaks controlled the third period as the Argos would bring the advantage down to four, but Menlo maintained most of their lead as the period closed to a seven-point Oaks lead, 52-45.
The Argos kicked things into gear over the final 10 minutes as they went on a 9-2 run over the first three minutes of the period to bring things even at 54. Both teams fought over the next six minutes of clock to a 63-63 tie with 54 seconds remaining. The Oaks tallied six unanswered points to lead 69-63 with 15 seconds remaining. The Argos were able to outscore the Oaks 5-2 over the final 15 seconds close the deficit to three at the buzzer, 71-68.
The Argos will return to the court for their second matchup of the tournament on Thursday at 8 p.m. at the Coyote Center in Phoenix, Arizona.