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Morinia carries Lights to victory; Skylights fall to league-leading Carroll

It's kind of like that old trash-talking line. Larry Morinia's back was hurting after the Montana State University-Northern men's basketball team knocked off Carroll College 81-73 at the Carroll College P.E. Center because down the stretch he flat carried Northern to the win.

Morinia scored 12 straight points in the final three minutes of the game to lead the Lights to their fourth-straight conference win, while Carroll College dropped its third-straight conference game.

"We got a little bit of a lead and Larry basically took over," said Northern head coach Shawn Huse. "He did anything and everything to make sure we kept that lead. He put the team on his shoulders and said, 'jump on boys because I'll take us home.'"

Northern took a two-point lead at the eight-minute mark on four straight points from Dustin Sawejka. It was a lead the Lights would never relinquish as Trenton Harbaugh answered Carroll baskets with two tough baskets himself. With Northern clinging to a65-61 lead, it was time for Morinia to take over.

The conference's leading scorer scored the next 12 points on a variety of drives to the baskets, a pair of three-pointers and perfect free-throw shooting.

It was the last of many Northern rallies throughout the game. The Lights trailed on several different occasions in the game and each time fought back to take the lead.

Morinia finished with a game-high 30 points, including 7-7 shooting from the free-throw line. Sawejka came off the bench to score 14 points and dish out five assists. Lamar Morinia and Reid Stovall added 11 points each in the win.

Carroll, which fell to 4-7 in conference, was led by Chris Bond's 22 points while Chris Beery added 14 in the loss.

"We are starting to have that confidence of knowing we can come back and win on the road," Huse said. "It helps us to know that we have a shot against anybody."

Northern will have to take that confidence to Billings on Saturday when it takes on Rocky Mountain College.

The Bears are coming off a 73-55 win over the University of Great Falls and have an 8-3 record in the Frontier Conference.

"We still have some business to take care of," Huse said. "Our job is half done. We're going to enjoy this win a little tonight and get up tomorrow and start preparing for Rocky."

CARROLL EDGES SKYLIGHTS

The Skylights did everything they could do to beat the conference-leading Saints, but in the end it still wasn't quite enough. Carroll's senior standout Tara Zoanni scored six-straight points in the game's final minutes to break open a two-point game and give the Saints their 10th conference win on the season.

Zoanni finished with a game-high 30 points including a pair of three-pointers to pace the Saints. Andrea Hall added 17 and Emili Woody chipped in with eight points and 10 rebounds.

Northern hung with the Saints the entire game, trailing 32-30 at halftime and overcoming an 11-point deficit with a 15-5 run punctuated by a score from Megan Valgardson inside and pulling within one at 59-58.

However, Zoanni took over and Carroll turned up its defense, not allowing the Skylights to get very many good looks at the end.

Valgardson led Northern with a team-high 24 points on 10-13 shooting. Anna Bateman added 11 for Northern, which dropped to 6-5 in the conference and 19-10 overall.

The Skylights will be back in action on Saturday when they face a very good Rocky Mountain College squad led by Amber and Ashley Griffith. Rocky was upset by UGF 90-70 on Thursday night.

MSU-Northern (62)

Khadiga Mohamed 4-7 0-0 8; Brettney Vermandel 1-1 0-0 2; Jessi Reome 2-5 0-0 4; Kristie Pullin 0-3 0-0 0; Anna Bateman 4-12 0-0 11; DeLayne Johnston 1-3 0-0 2; Kristal Lohse 1-1 0-0 2; Chasi Buffington 1-2 0-0 3; Michele VanDyke 3-3 0-0 6; Megan Valgardson 10-13 4-6 24; Totals 27-50 4-6 62.

Carroll College (67)

Emili Woody 2-9 4-4 10; Vanessa Tomco 2-5 3-4 4; Tara Zoanni 7-16 4-4 20; Andrea Hall 5-9 2-2 17; Laci High 1-6 0-0 3; Kate Paul 0-3 0-0 0; Catie Priddy 2-3 1-3 5; Rachel Bromiley 3-9 1-2 7. 20-60 15-19 67.

Halftime: CAR 33, MSUN 31. Three-point goals: MSUN 4-12 (Reome 0-2, Pullin 0-1, Bateman 3-7, Buffington 1-2). Carroll 8-18 (Woody 0-1, Hall 5-7 , Zoanni 2-9, High 1-4, Paul 0-1). Rebounds: MSUN 24 (Valgardson 8); Carroll 34 (Woody 10). Assists MSUN 11 (Pullin 3), Carroll 10 (Zoanni 2, Hall 2) Turnovers: MSUN 23, Carroll 17. Total fouls - MSUN 18, Carroll 12. Fouled out - Vermandel.

MSU-NORTHERN (81)

Larry Morinia 10-17 7-7 30, Reid Stovall 5-6 1-2 11, Lamar Morinia 4-9 1-2 11, Landen Grant 1-3 1-3 4, Trenton Harbaugh 2-5 0-2 4, Zach McLean 1-5 2-2 5, Leo Bullchild 1-1 0-0 2, Travis Moran 0-0 0-0 0, Dustin Sawejka 6-12 2-4 14. Totals: 30-58 14-22 81.

CARROLL COLLEGE (73)

Greg Johnson 4-8 0-0 11, Kurt Paulson 1-6 2-2 5, Chris Beery 5-6 2-2 14, Andy Brown 0-2 2-2 2, Chris Bond 9-14 3-3 22, Jeff Graham 0-1 0-0 0, Newell Roche 0-3 0-0 0, Dallas Leslie 3-5 0-1 9, Jeff Hays 3-9 3-4 10, Ross Gustafson 0-0 0-1 0. Totals: 25-54 12-15 73.

Halftime score: Northern 32, Carroll 30. Three point goals: Northern 7-13 (Lar. Morinia 3-5, Lam. Morinia 2-3, Grant 1-2, McLean 1-3), Carroll 11-23 (Johnson 3-7, Paulson 1-2, Beery 2-2, Bond 1-1, Graham 0-1, Roche 0-3, Leslie 3-5, Hays 1-2). Rebounds: Northern 30 (Harbaugh 9), Carroll 30 (Bond 8). Assists: Northern 14 (Sawejka 5), Carroll 20 (Johnson 10). Turnovers: Northern 10, Carroll 17. Total fouls: Northern 19, Carroll 21. Fouled out: Beery. Technical fouls: none.

 

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