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Getting even: Short-handed Skylights beat Carroll

With just eight players suited up, MSU-N women earn an exciting win in the Armory


January 23, 2020

Havre Daily News/Colin Thompson

Montana State University-Northern's Kenya Lorton, right, goes in for a layup during Wednesday night's Frontier Conference game in the Armory Gymnasium. Lorton scored a game-high 19 points to help the Skylights knock off Carroll College in a NAIA Top 25 showdown. MSU-N is right back home to face Providence tonight.

It was just two weeks ago that the Montana State University-Northern Skylights suffered what was their worst loss of the Frontier Conference season - a double-digit setback at the hands of Carroll College.

And Northern was pretty much at full strength that night.

Fast forward two weeks, and Carroll was back in Havre, taking on a Northern squad that dressed just eight players due to injuries.

And yet, the No. 18 Skylights got the last laugh Wednesday night in the Armory Gymnasium, as they knocked off No. 17 Carroll 70-62. The win was Northern's second straight, as the Skylights moved back above .500 in the Frontier ahead of tonight's rematch with the University of Providence.

"It feels good," Sophomore Allix Goldhahn, who is averaging nearly 15 points per game over her last four, said. "It's a big win for us. But like coach said afterwards, we have to turn around and get ready for another big game tomorrow."

Goldhahn was part of a big trio for the Skylights, who were missing star point guard McKenzie Gunter, as well as standout forward Tiara Gilham, both out with injuries. And yet, that trio, and the entire roster stepped up huge.

"Just very proud of my team," Northern head coach Chris Mouat said. "We had a third of our team on the bench in street clothes, so it's a big win. To beat a team (Carroll) who beat us pretty good last time, and who came in here playing really, well, I'm just very proud of our kids."

Kenya Lorton was another player who stepped up big. She started the game off with a bucket, and Goldhahn hit two 3-pointers as part of a great first stanza that saw the Skylights lead 13-9.

Carroll, of course, had no intentions of going quietly into the night.

Former Havre Blue Pony Dani Wagner hit a three just before the end of the first period, which ended a six-minute scoring drought by the Saints, but also sparked a 7-0 Carroll run that carried into the second period. Lorton, though, hit a key try to stem the tide early in the quarter, and true freshman Ryley Kehr added a bomb that put the Skylights up five with five left in the period. Not to be outdone, though, Peyton Kehr got hot as well, and she and Goldhahn hit a pair of treys, while Lorton added a layup off a steal to help MSU-N end the first half on an 8-2 run and lead 33-26 at intermission.

"I thought we were much more aggressive offensively," Mouat said. "We shot it really well, and we made big shots. I thought we rebounded it well enough, and we were very good defensively. But I thought the biggest difference was, we were just much more aggressive offensively this time around, and we put the ball in the hole."

Of course, Carroll wasn't going away, and the Saints hit three triples to start the third quarter, tying the game at 35-35. Thanks, though, to Northern's defense, rebounding and timely shooting, the game would never be tied again. Goldhahn scored eight straight points as part of a 12-2 run, and though Carroll responded with back-to-back threes to end the third, the Skylights had all the answers they needed.

Hailey Nicholson capped an 8-2 run by the Skylights at the start of the fourth quarter, while Kehr answered a Christine Denny trey, with a 3-point play, a play which started with a clutch steal by Nicholson.

Down the stretch, Northern got big free throws from Goldhahn and Lorton, while Nicholson and Sydney Hovde grabbed rebound after rebound to help thwart any Carroll comeback.

"Everybody really stepped up tonight," Goldhahn said. "With so many players out, we knew we needed to maybe fill some roles we don't normally fill. But overall, it was just a great team win, and everybody stepped up big."

Everybody did do their part. Offensively, Lorton scored a career-high 19 points, while Kehr scored 16 and Goldhahn added 15, on three of Northern's six triples. Nicholson and Hovde combined for 15 boards as Northern edged Carroll on the glass. The Skylights also held the Saints to just 35 percent shooting and survived Carroll's 11 threes, with Wagner leading the Saints with 15 points.

"Every player who stepped on the floor did something to help us win tonight," Mouat said. "I thought our guards were awesome. They made big shots, they put the ball in the hole. But again, it was a huge team win. Carroll is very good, especially defensively and on the boards, so to play as well as we did tonight, I'm just really proud of my team. This is a big one."

The win was a huge one for Northern, which will now try and make it three in a row, and defend its home court. The Skylights (4-3, 15-4) are right back in the Armory tonight to face Providence, which beat the Skylights in a nail biter two weeks ago in Great Falls. Tonight's game between MSU-N and UP tips off at 6.

Skylights are 4-3 in Frontier, 15-4 overall; Next Up: vs Argos tonight

Skylights 70, Carroll 62

Carroll College 9 17 17 19 - 62

MSU-Northern 13 20 14 23 - 70

Havre Daily News/Colin Thompson

Peyton Kehr shoots during Wednesday night's game in the Armory.

CC - Taylor Salonen 0-4 0-0 0, Danielle Wagner 6-14 0-0 15, Christine Denny 4-14 2-3 12, Jaidyn Lyman 1-5 0-0 3, Molly McDermott 1-3 0-0 2, Sienna Swannack 5-11 0-0 11, Emerald Toth 0-1 0-0 0, Kamden Hilborn 5-11 0-0 14, Maddie Geritz 2-5 1-2 5. Totals 24-68 3-5 62.

MSU-N - Kenya Lorton 5-14 8-10 19, Petra Sellin 0-1 0-0 0, Allix Goldhahn 4-7 4-4 15, Ryley Kehr 2-2 0-0 5, Hailey Nicholson 3-10 2-4 8, Peyton Kehr 7-13 1-1 16, Morgan Mason 0-2 3-4 3, Sydney Hovde 2-3 0-0 4. Totals 23-52 18-23 70.

3-pt FG:Carroll (Mont.) 11-35 (Salonen 0-1, Wagner 3-10, Denny 2-5, Lyman 1-4, McDermott 0-1, Swannack 1-6, Hilborn 4-8), Montana State University- 6-12 (Lorton 1-3, Sellin 0-1, Goldhahn 3-4, Kehr 1-1, Kehr 1-3). Rebounds: Carroll (Mont.) 31 (Wagner 7), Montana State University- 32 (Hovde 8). Fouls Carroll (Mont.) 19, Montana State University- 11. Fouled out: Denny.


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