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womens basketball; CC vs Northwest University

Carroll College’s Michaela Dowdy brings down an offensive rebound in the first quarter Thursday.

The Carroll College women’s basketball team gets one final tune-up before the Frontier Conference season returns in January.

Carroll College hosts the University of Calgary and the University of Lethbridge on Dec. 29 and 30, giving the Saints two tough opponents to transition from the holiday break back into the breakneck pace of the conference.

Though a short break of three days for the players to return home to their families, coach Rachelle Sayers said it was important to build back into conference.

“I think it’s important after they’ve been home for some time,” Sayers said. “Sometimes it’s hard, especially for young kids to have such a short Christmas break.”

And Sayers said it’s always more fun to return to the court knowing it’s for games rather than a week of just practicing.

“We get a little bit of the Christmas rust off,” she said. “It’s an opportunity to get on the floor and clean things up before we get back into conference.”

The Saints will get the Canadian schools that are at a deeper juncture in their respective seasons. Calgary will be in Helena and playing in its 20th game. Lethbridge will be playing in game No. 14 for the season.

The Dinos are led by Brianna Ghali, who is averaging 15 points per game and six rebounds.

“Calgary traditionally is really good and big,” Sayers said. “They’re always very big. These guys are kind at the end of their seasons by the time we get them.”

Kacie Bosch, a transfer from Gonzaga, leads the Lethbridge Pronghorns this season. She’s averaging 13.4 points and 5.3 rebounds each night.

“She was out last year with a knee injury,” Sayers said. “I think she should be back and ready to go. Both teams come in ready to go.”

Last season, Carroll opened up against the Lethbridge and won 76-40.

This will be the first time Carroll has faced Calgary since Jan. 4 of 2014. Then, the Saints hosted the Dinos and won 77-47.

The PE Center will also play host to the Montana Tech Orediggers women’s basketball team on Dec. 28. The Orediggers will be in town to play Calgary a night before the Saints take them on.

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