Carroll College beats Montana Tech to advance to second round of playoffs

(Editor’s Note: Carroll College media release)

HELENA — Four Saints scored in double figures and No. 7 Carroll College defeated Montana Tech in the quarterfinals of the Frontier Conference Playoffs on Tuesday night in the PE Center, 59-50.

Both sides stated slow, missing a slew of shots. In a poor shooting first quarter, the Saints held a 6-5 lead and extended that one point-margin to halftime at 17-16.

“The execution was good,” Saints coach Rachelle Sayers told Sports 94.9. “We actually executed things well, we just couldn’t put the ball in the basket.”

The Saints shot a feeble 23 percent in the first half, while the Orediggers weren’t much better at 26 percent from the field.

The Saints came out in the second half with a full-court press, showing a renewed aggression that led to their offense coming easier.

“We knew we had to change something,” Sayers said. “We started full-court pressing them. We thought we could get something going.

The Orediggers used an 8-0 run in the third quarter to build a six-point lead, but Carroll responded in kind.

It was the Saints that built toward a crescendo in the final period. Carroll scored 42 points in the second half, with a 23-point fourth quarter.

Taylor Salonen scored 10 points in the period and Dani Wagner added seven to thwart any comeback hopes of Montana Tech.

Hannah Dean led all scorers with 15 points but exited the game in the fourth quarter with an injury.

Christine Denny added 14, while Salonen finished with 12 and Wagner had 10.

Dani Urick and Mollie Peoples led Tech with 11 points each.

Carroll advances to host the semifinals back in the PE Center on Friday. The No. 2-seed Saints will host No. 3-seed Rocky Mountain College, who the Saints just defeated in the regular-season finale. Rocky thumped Montana State-Northern on Tuesday to open the playoffs and set up the rematch with Carroll.

“We just saw them,” Sayers said. “It’s going to be physical. It’s not going to be a high scoring affair. It’s going to be about what you’ve seen the last three times. It’s going to come down to the wire.”

The game will tip-off at 7 p.m.

Sam Hoyle

Sam Hoyle

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