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Providence women, Montana Tech men win in doubleheader

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Posted at 4:20 PM, Jan 09, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-09 18:20:54-05

(Editor's note: University of Providence press releases)

The University of Providence women's basketball team outscored Montana Tech 26-6 in the fourth quarter Saturday night to cap off a 66-52 victory in the McLaughlin Center.

The Argos (16-3, 3-1) couldn't buy a basket from beyond the three-point line, making one of their 23 attempts. Down by eight points in the third quarter, they had to make some offensive adjustments and began focusing on entering the ball to Parker Esary, who had 15 second-half points to lead the comeback.

"In the first half I thought we were settling for a lot of threes," head coach Bill Himmelberg said. "I thought we were shooting a lot of shots early in the shot clock. In the second-half we did a much better job of getting the ball inside to Parker and we executed our offense a lot better. We grinded it out defensively."

The Argos shot just 36.2% from the field and 4.3% from the three-point line. With their offense in a funk, the team had to grind out defensively. They forced a total 19 turnovers and held the Orediggers (7-10, 0-4) to 36.0% shooting.

"I thought our kids just did what they needed to do," Himmelberg said. "An older, experienced team like ours, we're not going to get flustered by that type of stuff. Some nights you're going to miss some shots. I don't know if we've ever missed that many. Hopefully we won't see that ever again. We didn't panic, we just worked it inside and found a way to win."

Esary led the team with 26 points and four rebounds. Emilee Maldonado recorded her second-straight double-double, finishing with 16 points and 10 rebounds, and also added three assists and three steals. Reed Hazard notched 15 points and seven boards for the squad.

"I'm proud of all of them," Himmelberg said. "It's what we've come to expect from Parker and Emilee. Reed was great tonight. She made some timely shots when we needed them so that was great to see."

Tavia Rooney was the top performer for the Orediggers, finishing with 14 points, six rebounds and four blocks. Mollie Peoples added 13 points for her team.

The Argos will return to action on Thursday night with an opportunity to take the lead in the Frontier Conference Standings when they'll take on #5 Carroll College on Jan. 13. That game will tip off at 5:00 p.m. in the McLaughlin Center.

Men's game

The University of Providence men's basketball team fell to Montana Tech 76-66 Saturday afternoon in the McLaughlin Center.

The game is the first of the new year for the Argos (9-7, 1-3), who have been battling sickness since the holiday break. The squad didn't have enough players to field a team Thursday night and had to forfeit to Montana Western. Since the team returned from break on Dec. 27, the team has only had one practice where they have had ten players.

"Give Tech credit, they're a good basketball team," head coach Steve Keller said. "We need to get more time on the floor. We had too many guys out over the break and you could tell we weren't in a rhythm. We got beat in transition because we're tired. We haven't got beat in transition all year long. We played hard we just got tired. We saw some good things. It's going to get better."

The game marked the debut of Argo big Brenden Howard, who transferred to Providence over the break. The big man from Great Falls High School had a stellar performance, finishing with 16 points and three rebounds for the squad.

"He's going to help us with some of our deficiencies," Keller said. "He had a solid game. He's going to need to get more rebounds for us but our lineup is going to feature him and Jake a lot down the road. Jake finished with 10 rebounds so I'm excited to see the two of them together.

Marcus Stephens added 15 points for the Argos while Elijah Oliver added 11 points and seven rebounds for the squad.

Caleb Bellach led the Orediggers (12-5, 3-1) with 15 points and nine boards. Sindou Diallo and Taylor England each added 14 for the team.

The Argos will return to action on Jan. 13 with a home game against #2 Carroll College for Superhero Night. That game will tip off at 7:00 p.m.