HELENA — With their season, and a trip to Kansas City to continue their quest for an NAIA National Title on the line, the Carroll College Fighting Saints men fell short against the University of Jamestown Jimmies, 73-66.
With Jovan Sljivancanin sidelined to a leg injury, the Carroll College Fighting Saints fought tooth and nail in the loss, but early foul trouble plagued Carroll College in the effort.
Carroll and Jamestown stacked up relatively evenly in the opening stretch, but hampered by fouls the Fighting Saints were unable to be nearly as aggressive down low and the Jimmies took advantage of that, hawking rebounds and putting them back up for easy buckets outscoring Carroll 26-6 on second-chance points.
Devon Schultz, Jamestown's 6'11" senior, came off the bench and harrassed the Carroll defense recording 13 points and 10 rebounds, seven of them offensive boards, to help the Jimmies to a 33-25 lead at the half.
Out of the break, the Jimmies extended their lead to 38-25, before Carroll College came alive.
The Fighting Saints offense exploded out to a nine-point, 49-40, lead on a 19-3 run, where Carroll took its first lead of the ballgame on a hard block by Garrett Long and a nearly uncontested shot by Lowell Chan.
With 9:17 to play and a nine-point lead to play with, the race to the finish was on for the Fighting Saints as they tried to keep the momentum in their favor. But unfortunately for Carroll, the Jimmies found their footing and took the lead at 61-59 on a Will Cordes three, and would stay in the lead for the remainder of the game.
With the loss, the Fighting Saints season comes to a close with a record of 29-5 and a No. 8 ranking in the final NAIA national coaches poll.