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Saints Topple Arizona Christian to Move to 10-0 - KBZK.com | Continuous News | Bozeman, Montana

Saints Topple Arizona Christian to Move to 10-0

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PHOENIX – With a dominant defensive performance and big games from Baylee Watson and Cassidy Hashley led the No. 24 Carroll College women’s basketball team to a 51-46 road win over a talented Arizona Christian team to move to 10-0 on the season, eight of those wins coming on the away from Helena.

Hashley tallied a double-double with a team-high 16 points and 11 rebounds and Watson totaled a career-high 14 rebounds and nine points. Katie Estey also scored 10 points for the Saints.

Arizona Christian led for most of the first quarter but were unable to take a significant lead and Carroll closed the frame with a 4-0 run to take a 12-10 lead at the first break.

Carroll built on the lead in the second quarter ending with a 32-23 lead at the half. The Saints held ACU to 9-of-30 (30 percent) from the field in the first, including 2-of-8 (25 percent) from the three-point line.

The third quarter was nearly devastating for the Saints. ACU started the second half with a 10-0 run, giving the Firestorm a 33-32 lead on two free throws from Courtney Christmas.  The Saints closed the half with a 3-pointer from Sara Chalich to give Carroll the 35-33 lead heading into the fourth quarter.

The two teams traded baskets in a fourth quarter that included three ties but the Saints would not let the Firestorm take the lead.

ACU cut the lead to 44-43 with 1:09 left in the game but Carroll went 7-of-10 from the free throw line in the last minute to earn the 51-46 win.

The win is another quality notch on the Saints’ perfect record. ACU moves to 5-4 on the season but the previous three losses came at the hands of talented DII teams.

“They are a very good team,” head coach Rachelle Sayers said. “They have three DI transfers from Arizona State, Northern Arizona, Cal State Northridge.  They were big with three six-footers on the front line (6-4, 6-1, and 6-0). They are going to have a really good year, they are a very talented team.”

The Saints held ACU to 17-of-62 (27.4 percent) from the field, including just 4-of-19 (21.1 percent) from the three-point line.

The Saints forced 17 turnovers on 12 steals which turned into 18 points off of turnovers. The Saints also outrebounded ACU 52-46 which led to a 13-8 advantage in second chance points.

Madison Austin scored 17 to lead the Firestorm. Christmas scored 10 points for ACU, well below her season average of 17 PPG.

The win puts the Saints in great position as they head into Frontier Conference action. Carroll played eight of their 10 games in the last three weeks and all eight were away from the PE Center with four being true road games.

The Saints are one of just eight NAIA DI teams that are undefeated at this point in the season and the only one with 10 wins. Four teams have seven wins on the year, including MSU-Northern.

“I am so unbelievably proud of this group. To be 10-0 with eight games on the road is an amazing accomplishment and is a direct reflection of their commitment and trust in the process,” Sayers said. “We have asked a lot of this young team and they have stepped up to the call. Can't say enough about the leadership we are getting from Katie Estey, Baylee Watson and Jordan Johnston. We are going to enjoy this till Monday and then we are back to work"

The Saints open the conference season with home games against Montana Tech Thursday Dec. 3, and Lewis-Clark Friday.

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