The No. 23 Carroll College women take to the road this week as things begin to heat up in the Frontier Conference.
Thursday’s contest in Butte will pit the Frontier’s No. 3 scoring offense in Montana Tech (74 points per game) against the conference’s No. 3 scoring defense in Carroll (56 points allowed).
Tech (8-8, 2-3) comes into the game having dealt Montana Western its first loss of the season, 70-65, but then falling at Rocky Mountain College, 62-51.
Montana Tech is led by Martha Dembek, who is averaging 17.1 points and 6 rebounds per game, both team bests. Monica Landdeck and Hattie Thatcher also score in double figures for the Orediggers, putting up 12.4 pints and 11.8 points, respectively.
Beyond the start of the season, the Orediggers have not been able to put together a string of wins. The inconsistency is part of the reason why they are lingering near the middle of the Frontier standings.
Carroll will lean toward its bulwark in the post, Cassidy Hashley, who is averaging 15.7 points and 10.3 rebounds per night. Guard Bailey Pasta averages 10.6 points and Hannah Dean averages 9.8 points and 7.4 rebounds per game.
The Saints get their greatest test of the season on Saturday when they visit Lewiston, Idaho, to face the No. 2 Lewis-Clark State College Warriors (17-0, 5-0).
The Warriors could easily become the No. 1 team in the NAIA, especially since they already hold a swath of top national marks in statistical categories. The Warriors are No. 1 in assist/turnover ratio, No. 2 in scoring margin, total assists, assists per game, scoring offense per game and total scoring offense. They are No. 3 in 3s made per game and total made, turnover margin and 3-point percentage. The list goes on and on.
Lewis-Clark State College perhaps showed some slight vulnerability, eking out road wins over Rocky Mountain College and Montana Western, both victories by a score of 83-78. Even so, it’s nearly impossible to find faults with the Warriors so far.
L-C State has four scorers averaging double figures, led by Caelyn Orlandi’s 14.4 points per game. Orlandi also dishes out about 7 assists per contest.
Brittany Tackket adds in 13.9 and 6.1 rebounds per game. Natahnee Spencer averages 10.6 points and Brooke Litalien scores 10.4 per outing.
The Saints tip off against the Orediggers on Thursday at 5:30 p.m.