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Fighting Saints surge past the Skylights at Armory Gymnasium


Last updated 2/3/2023 at 8:55am

Havre Daily News/Kason Clark

Northern's Ryley Kehr dribbles the ball against Carroll College at Armory Gymnasium Thursday night. The Skylights could not keep up as the Fighting Saints won 59-36.

The Carroll College Fighting Saints won in the Armory Gymnasium all the way back in December. Their February return to Havre was more of the same.

On Thursday night, the No. 11 Fighting Saints raced past the struggling Montana State University-Northern Skylights, 59-36 in a Frontier Conference game.

"They got off to a great start, second-chance points were killing us early," Northern head coach Chris Mouat said. "And the bottom line is, they're playing at a really high level right now. They've beaten everybody in our league by about 25 points this last time through. So credit to them. They're really good, they're playing really well."

Despite missing former Havre Blue Pony star Kyndall Keller, the Saints were an offensive juggernaut, shooting better than 50 percent from the floor, while also running out to a 13-0 lead. Northern did fight back earlier on, as buckets by Shyan Krass and Ryley Kehr capped a 9-0 run that pulled the Skylights to within 17-9 after 10 minutes.

It wouldn't be enough however.

Behind three scores from Jamie Pickens, and a Camden Hillborn 3-pointer, the Saints went on an 11-0 run, and ultimately led 34-16 at halftime. Pickens opened the third quarter with a bucket, while Northern didn't score until the 5:15 mark of the period. A trey by Jalen Callender cut Carroll's lead to 48-23 after three periods, but Northern couldn't get much closer in the final stanza, as the Skylights fell to 0-11 in conference play.

"I thought we dug our heels in and gave ourselves a chance going into the second quarter," Mouat said. "I thought we did some good things after the tough start. But in the end, when you shoot 24 percent from the floor, 20 percent from three and 67 percent from the free-throw-line, when you score in single digits in three out of four quarters, that's not going to get it done against anybody in this league, and certainly not against Carroll, the way they're playing right now."

It was a tough night for Northern, as the Skylights shot just 29 percent from the floor, while making only a pair of threes. MSU-N committed 16 turnovers and got out-rebounded 34-22. Offensively Kehr and Briaunna McCullough each scored 10 points, while the Fighting Saints got 14 points and seven rebounds from Pickens, as they held on to first place in the Frontier standings.

Northern (7-16), meanwhile, will fight to get its first conference win when the Skylights host Providence Saturday at 2 p.m. in the Armory Gymnasium.

"We just have to keep moving forward," Mouat said. "We have to learn and grow from this and come back and put ourselves in a position to win on Saturday."

Havre Daily News/Kason Clark

Carroll 59, Skylights 36

Carroll College 17 17 14 11 - 59

MSU-Northern 9 7 7 13 - 36

CC - Addi Eckstrom 7, Kamden Hillborn 7, Sienna Swannack 7, Jamie Pickens 14, Maddie Geitz 6, Genesis Wilkinson 7, Sadie Filius 2, Meagan Karstetter 3, Erica Nessen 2, Izzy Erickson 4. Totals: 27-58 3-16.

MSU-N - Jalen Callender 3, Rachel Van Blaricom 0, Ryley Kehr 10, Sydney Hansen 6, Savvan Toms 1, Brianna McCullough 10, Abigail Kettner 0, Shan Krass 4, Dulci Skunkcap 2. Totals: 13-44 8-12.

3-pointers: MSU-N 2-10 (Callender 1, Kehr 1), Rebounds: MSU-N 22 (Krass), Fouls: 13.


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