Hawks show strengths, but can't catch up to Carroll
Caleb Harrison shook his head and smiled.
Dickinson State was so close, yet so far away.
Despite playing one of its best games this season, the Blue Hawk women's basketball team fell short of Carroll College 66-58 for its third consecutive loss on Saturday night at Scott Gymnasium.
"I'm not really one for moral victories, but I feel like our team, we're winners today as far as the process of the game," Harrison said. "We played hard, we stuck to the game plan and we didn't give up. I thought we took advantage of our strengths and their weaknesses."
Senior Yianna Nadeau put the Blue Hawks (5-13, 0-4 Frontier) ahead 56-54 after the second of back-to-back 3-pointers with 4 minutes, 20 seconds remaining.
Right there to answer was Carroll senior Megan Patterson.
Patterson buried the last of her five 3-pointers less than a minute later and the Saints rode the momentum, not to mention some solid free-throw shooting, to the win. Carroll scored 12 unanswered points before DSU freshman Lorna Shepherd's meaningless layup with 13 seconds remaining wrapped up the game.
"She's just a kid that I know down the stretch, whether she's had a great game or an average game, she's going to come up big," Carroll head coach Rachelle Sayers said. "We put the ball in her hands out of a couple time outs and she responded"
The Saints (11-5, 5-0 Frontier), who were the first team left out of the NAIA Division I Top 25 coaches' poll this week, led big early after going on an 18-0 first-half run, which began around the 7-minute mark and lasted 5½ minutes.
Patterson scored eight of her game-high 19 points during the run, including a pair of back-to-back 3-pointers at the end of it that put the Saints up 33-18.
DSU didn't get many shot attempts during the drought, which lasted for 7:10 and was finally brought to an end by junior guard Mariah Duran's long 3-pointer as the shot clock expired with 53 seconds left in the half.
The Saints led 34-21 at halftime.
The Blue Hawks clawed back in the second half, cutting Carroll's lead to 40-38 after a 15-2 run over a span of 5:10 early in the second half.
"Before halftime, we were kind of getting very static," DSU sophomore center Jess Bygate said. "We weren't passing the ball around, we weren't looking inside to the post. That's when our offense falls apart."
Carroll sophomore Bailey Snelling's 3-pointer off an in-bounds play was followed by a small Carroll run that put them up by as much as eight, 48-40, with 7:37 remaining.
But, DSU wouldn't go away.
The Blue Hawks chipped away until Nadeau buried both of her back-to-back 3s from the right corner. She finished with 10 points.
Foul trouble cost the Blue Hawks down the stretch, however.
Bygate and sophomore forward Janae Moore both fouled out late in the second half, allowing the Saints to build their lead.
Bygate finished with 16 points while Moore head 10 points, five rebounds and three steals. Duran added 12 points and five assists.
"It hurt us when Jess and Janae fouled out," Harrison said.
When the Blue Hawks' two posts went out, Carroll senior Torrie Cahill went to work.
The Miles City, Mont., native crashed the boards, kept plays alive and hit a pair of free throws with 27 seconds left that all but put the game away. She finished with 16 points and 11 rebounds.
"She made some big plays down the stretch, back to back buckets when Dickinson did take the lead," Sayers said. "Her leadership and her ability to get to the rim and be relentless to score and help our team win is just phenomenal."
Harrison felt the game was a step in the right direction for the Blue Hawks, whose lone win over an American team was a three-point victory over Johnson & Wales on Dec. 15.
"What I'm trying to teach our team is if we play like that against other teams in the Frontier, we're going to get a few wins in league play," Harrison said.
CARROLL COLLEGE (11-5, 5-0 Frontier): Joey O'Neill 2-3 1-2 5, Jordan Pfau 1-4 1-2 3, Megan Patterson 6-12 2-2 19, Bailey Snelling 3-7 4-6 11, Torrie Cahill 4-7 7-11 16, Katie Estey 0-3 0-0 0, Cassie Anderson 0-0 0-0 0, Kalee Junkermier 0-1 1-2 1, Jackie Gebhardt 0-0 1-2 1, Jordan Johnston 0-0 0-0 0, Jordan Bagley 4-8 3-4 11. Totals 20-45 20-31 67.
DICKINSON STATE (5-13, 0-4 Frontier): Janae Moore 5-15 0-2 10, Jess Bygate 6-10 4-5 16, Lorna Shepherd 2-3 1-1 5, Yianna Nadeau 3-8 2-3 10, Mariah Duran 4-7 1-4 12, Dawne Degel 01 2-2 2, Ashley Jelly 0-5 1-2 1, Jenna Cabello 1-1 0-0 2, Jaylyn Klauzer 0-2 0-0 0. Totals 21-52 11-19 58.
Halftime: CC 34-21. Total fouls: CC 16, DSU 28. Technical fouls: CC, bench. Fouled out: Moore, Bygate. 3-point goals: CC 7-17 (Patterson 5-10, Snelling 1-3, Pfau 0-1, Cahill 1-1, Estey 0-1, Junkermier 0-1), DSU 5-14 (Nadeau 2-5, Duran 3-4, Moore 0-1, Shepherd 0-1, Jelly 0-3). Rebounds: CC 29 (Cahill 10), DSU 31 (Moore 6). Assists: CC 7 (Pfau 2, Patterson 2), DSU 11 (Duran 5). Steals: CC 4 (four with 1), DSU 11 (Moore 3). Blocks: CC 2 (O'Neill 2), DSU 0. Turnovers: CC 20 (Patterson 6), DSU 16 (Moore 5).