(Editor’s note: Carroll College athletics release)
HELENA — No. 4 Carroll College and Montana Western entered Saturday night’s contest firmly in first and last place, respectively.
Forty minutes of basketball later, they remained there.
Carroll (20-2, 9-1 Frontier Conference) seized a 105-67 win over the Bulldogs (7-14, 1-9), playing a team-brand of basketball with 27 total assists.
“We have to keep working on our defense,” Saints coach Kurt Paulson told Sports 94.9. “We got exploited a little bit. 67 isn’t a lot of points, but I thought we should have kept him around 60 or 58.”
Every Saints starter scored in double figures, led by Dane Warp’s 26 on 11-of-14 shooting. Match Burnham added 19, Ife Kalejaiye had 17, Matt Wyman had 14 and Shamrock Campbell scored 14.
Once Carroll built a double digit lead with about six minutes remaining in the first half, the Saints never relinquished it. Western never led, while the Saints led by as many as 42.
After a one-game deviation, the Saints’ free-throw percentage returned to its NAIA-leading form. Carroll sunk 10-of-12 free throws (83 percent).
The Saints were quite efficient from the field (59 percent) and from the three point line (57 percent).
“I was pleased with our free throw percentage getting back up to where it should be,” Paulson said. “We still have room for improvement though.”
Carroll went 2-0 on the week and have now won six consecutive games. Carroll’s victories, coupled with Lewis-Clark State College falling on Saturday, gives the Saints a lofty margin at the top of the standings. Carroll holds a three-game advantage over Rocky Mountain College with eight games left to play.
Carroll travels to Providence and Montana State-Northern next week.