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Argos trip up Lights, Skylights in Great Falls


January 18, 2018

Courtesy Photo

Montana State University-Northern's Jessica Curl, left, tries to defend a shot during the Skylight's game with the University of Providence Wednesday night in Great Falls. The Skylights fell to the Argos for the second time this season.

The road has not been friendly to the Montana State University-Northern basketball teams so far in Frontier Conference play. And the Lights and Skylights couldn't even find any friendliness on their shortest road trip of the season.

On Wednesday night, Northern was swept by the University of Providence inside the McLaughlin Center in Great Falls.

The Northern women, which suffered their fifth straight loss in league play, fell to the 14th-ranked Argos 67-62 inside the McLaughlin Center, in what was an intense battle right down to the end.

The Skylights, who have struggled shooting consistently during their recent slump, caught fire in the second quarter, outscoring the Argos 19-15 after falling behind 16-12.

With the game knotted at 31-31 at the start of the second half, the Argos sped ahead with an 18-12 spurt and led 49-43 with 10 minutes to play. The Skylights, behind a superb effort from senior Brandy Lambourne, battled the entire way, and in the final minute, were still within striking distance. But the Argos, who won their sixth straight game to remain in first place in the Frontier, held off the Skylights at the end.

"We competed for 40 minutes. Our effort was there," MSU-N head coach Chris Mouat said. "We were much better on the boards and our kids battled. We had chances even in the last minute and had a few tough breaks. But we took steps forward against a very good team. We just have to stick together, keep working and keep improving.

"Brandy had a phenomenal second half offensively and hit a ton of big shots," he added.

Lambourne was the catalyst for the Skylights, as she poured in a game-high 30 points, including three of Northern's five 3-pointers. She added three rebounds, four assists and a steal in what was a tremendous performance. Former Havre Blue Pony teammate Peyton Filius added two treys and scored 10 points, while Jessica Curl and Kealani Sagapolu combined for 17 points and 10 boards.

But, as well as the Skylights played, shooting almost 50 percent from the floor and battling hard on the glass, the Argos were tough as well. Parker Esary had 23 points and Steph McDonagh added 18, in helping the Skylights dip to 1-6 in the Frontier.

Northern (9-9) will now return home for three straight games, starting with a battle with Montana Tech Saturday night in the Armory Gymnasium.

Argos get revenge

No matter how good the defense is, and the University of Providence defense is good, when the Northern Lights are shooting the ball well, they're almost impossible to stop.

However, that wasn't the case Wednesday night in Great Falls as Northern dropped its third straight Frontier road game, in a 75-64 loss at the McLaughlin Center.

The Lights shot just 39 percent from the field, but an uncharacteristic 21 percent from the 3-point-line. Northern came into the game leading the Frontier in 3-point shooting, but the Lights made just 6 of 28 shots from downtown.

"Coldest I have ever seen these guys shoot," MSU-N head coach Shawn Huse said. "Never would I have dreamed we would miss as many shots as we did. Give Providence credit for turning our misses and turnovers into buckets. They played well tonight. We had our chances to do the same but just did not capitalize. Stats were even across the board except for our shooting percentage."

Despite the cold shooting, the Lights were very much in the contest, trailing just 34-32 at halftime. But the Argos started to inch away midway through the second half, and Northern's struggles from the field continued. The Lights went just 3-of-16 from three in the final 20 minutes, and ultimately, Providence was able to build a lead the Lights couldn't overcome, as Northern fell to 3-4 in Frontier play.

MSU-N had three players in double figures, led by Ryan Reeves, who scored 17 points, grabbed seven boards and blocked two shots. Justin Dunsmore and Charles Porter each scored 14, while Gabe Porter and Devin Bray combined for 12.

Huse was right, as well, because the Lights also stayed with the Argos in every other category. Northern was even in rebounding and turnovers, but the Argos shot 56 percent from the field and got a balanced attack offensively, with DuShaun Rice and Sergio Berkley each scoring 13 points.

The loss was a tough one for the Lights, who, after beating Montana Tech two weeks ago in Butte, were tied for first in the Frontier standings. Now, Northern (13-6) must return home and try to right the ship against the same Orediggers Saturday night.

"We’ll watch film and find adjustments that need to be made, but right now we get ready for Tech as the wheel keeps on rolling on this long conference season," Huse said. "The guys are definitely hurting. I feel bad for them as this is a good group ... but they need to get their heads up quickly. In the end I really feel it was just one of those nights ... but we will get it going again. This team has too much character to not bounce back from this."

Providence 67, Skylights 62

MSU-Northern 12 19 12 19 – 62

Providence 16 15 18 18 – 67

MSU-N - Peyton Filius 3-7 2-2 10, Brandy Lambourne 11-21 5-8 30, Kealani Sagapolu 3-4 2-2 8, Shiloh McCormick 2-5 1-3 5, Lily Hilderbrand 0-1 0-0 0, Peyton Kehr 0-0 0-0 0, Jessica Curl 3-6 3-4 9, Naomi Terry 0-2 0-0 0. Totals 22-46 13-19 62.

UP - Stephanie MCDONAGH 7-9 2-2 18, Molly HERRON 4-5 0-0 8, Kallee WILSON 1-5 0-0 2, Jenna RANDICH 1-9 0-0 3, Emilee MALDONADO 3-10 2-2 9, Parker ESARY 9-13 5-5 23, Tristan MURPHY 2-5 0-0 4. Totals 27-56 9-9 67.

3-pt FG:Montana State-Northern 5-11 (Filius 2-3, Lambourne 3-5, McCormick 0-3), Providence (Mont.) 4-16 (MCDONAGH 2-3, RANDICH 1-8, MALDONADO 1-5). Rebounds: Montana State-Northern 23 (McCormick 6, Curl 6), Providence (Mont.) 32 (ESARY 7). Fouls Montana State-Northern 9, Providence (Mont.) 14. Fouled out: none.

Providence 75, Lights 64

MSU-N - Adam Huse 1-7 0-0 3, Caulin Bakalarski 0-4 2-2 2, Anthony Harper 1-3 0-0 2, Devin Bray 2-8 2-2 6, Justin Dunsmore 6-10 1-3 14, Charles Porter 4-7 4-4 14, Cayeveoon Jones 0-1 0-0 0, Ryan Reeves 6-11 5-9 17, Gabe Porter 2-5 0-0 6. Totals 22-56 14-20 64.

UP - Sergio BERKLEY 5-8 2-2 13, Treyvon BASHIR 2-3 2-2 6, Jacob WETZEL 1-2 0-0 3, Quesly-Marie NORESIAS 4-6 1-2 9, Matthew BROOKS-MCGREGOR 5-5 0-0 12, Jared SCHULTZ 3-7 0-0 8, Jack TAYLOR 3-5 0-0 6, Steven DAHO-CLARK 1-5 3-4 5, DuShaun RICE 3-7 7-8 13, Thomas MIDDLETON 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 27-48 15-18 75.

Halftime: Providence 34-32. 3-pt FG:Montana State-Northern 6-28 (Huse 1-7, Bakalarski 0-3, Harper 0-1, Bray 0-4, Dunsmore 1-5, Porter 2-4, Porter 2-4), Providence (Mont.) 6-15 (BERKLEY 1-1, WETZEL 1-2, NORESIAS 0-1, BROOKS-MCGREGOR 2-2, SCHULTZ 2-5, TAYLOR 0-1, RICE 0-3). Rebounds: Montana State-Northern 30 (Reeves 7), Providence (Mont.) 31 (BASHIR 9). Fouls Montana State-Northern 12, Providence (Mont.) 15. Fouled out: none. Technical: BASHIR.


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