HELANA, Mont. – A strong second half wasn’t enough for the Lewis-Clark State College women’s basketball team to outpace Carroll College in Frontier Conference action on Saturday night. Despite shooting 56 percent in the second half, the No. 25 Warriors were outdone by No. 19 Carroll 67-60.
“You have to give Carroll a lot of credit,” said LCSC head coach Brian Orr. “I thought they outhustled us all night long. They outrebounded us all game long and their offensive rebounds down the stretch really made it hard.”
LCSC, now 20-8 overall and 6-6 in league play, came back from a 27-21 deficit at halftime to lead by four, 49-45, with just under eight minutes to play, but the lead would not last long.
Bailey Snelling, who led with 26 points, hit a 3-pointer to give the Saints a 55-53 lead with five minutes left and the Warriors never got back on top from here. The final tie came at 57-57 with 2:08 remaining, but Snelling answered with a 3-pointer at this juncture as well.
“Seemed like she had just a ton of points coming down the stretch,” Orr said of Snelling. “She just took over the game.”
Snelling, a 5-foot-8 senior guard, scored 18 points in the second half, going 5-for-10 from the outside on the night. And when the Warriors fouled to try to manage the clock in the final minute, Snelling answered by going 7-for-8 at the free throw line.
Besides Snelling, the biggest factor in the game was rebounding as Carroll enjoyed a 36-21 advantage on the boards including an 11-3 edge in ones on the offensive end.
“The difference in the game was our inability to stop them and then when we did stop them we couldn’t corral the rebound,” said Orr. “They were really aggressive and really intense and we just didn’t match that intensity.”
McKenzie Heaslet was the only Warrior to collect more than three boards as she led the game with eight rebounds. Heaslet also scored 11 points to share the team lead with Megan Risinger who was 3-for-4 from the outside.
Overall, LCSC was outshot 45 percent to 40 percent, but did have a better long-range game, making 9-of-18 attempts to Carroll’s 6-for-17 effort. The Saints (17-9, 8-5) were 17-for-20 at the foul line.
“The loss hurts but we want to stay confident in what we’re doing,” said Orr. “In the second half we moved the ball well, we hit the open player, but we just had some empty possessions down the stretch and we needed every one.”
Lewis-Clark State wraps up the regular season with two games at home next week. It will face No. 3 Westminster on Thursday and then Montana Western on Senior Night on Saturday.
“The ball bounced their way. We didn’t get a lot of bounces tonight,” Orr said. “I thought some good things happened this weekend, but we can’t worry about it now. We just have to focus on our next one.”
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