Once again, the Carroll College women battled MSU-Northern to the final few minutes. And, once again, the No. 11 Skylights prevailed, bottling up the Saints for a 47-43 win in Havre on Friday night.
“Northern is 11th in the country for a reason,” Saints coach Rachelle Sayers said. “We played them to four points on their home floor. We got 12 more shots up than they did. It came down to them getting to the free-throw line 14 times.”
Saints junior forward Cassidy Hashley finished the game with a game-high 18 points. Natalee Faupel led the Skylights with 16 points and led all players with nine rebounds.
“We need a nice job on Faupel,” Sayers said. “They limited us. We did a nice job on Richards. We did a good job on Thomsen. We’re right there. The kids are playing really hard. Unfortunately, there’s no breaks."
Carroll led the entire first quarter and part of the second, but the Skylights (17-4 overall, 7-3 in Frontier Conference play) fought back in that second frame. MSU-N outscored Carroll 17-8 in the second period, led by seven points by Cydney Auzenne.
Hashley had a strong first half, scoring nine points to lead all scorers at the break. Carroll (13-8, 3-6) had seized control of the game by opening the first quarter with a 13-7 run.
A very slow, turnover-filled sequence opened up the third quarter. The sides combined to record seven turnovers and score only seven points in the second half’s first five minutes.
A Hashley 3-pointer tied the game at 26 with five minutes left in the third, and the Saints took a 35-33 lead into the fourth. But the visitors then recorded another eight-point quarter, while Northern put up 14.
The Saints did not attempt a single free throw in the game, and Northern hit 10 of 14 attempts.
“Obviously, we have to be more aggressive and be willing to attacking more,” Sayers said. “We have to put ourselves in a position to get to the free-throw line.
“I feel like the kids are playing hard and we’re right on the verge. We need to get a little more contribution from more players. Kids are still bought in, still working. There’s no time to lick our wounds here.”
Carroll takes on the University of Great Falls (12-8, 18) on Saturday, again on the road. Tipoff is set for 5:30 p.m.