Lady Griz host Carroll in first exhibition game
Oct. 29, 2012
The Montana women's basketball team will host Carroll Tuesday at 7 p.m. at Dahlberg Arena in the Lady Griz' first of two exhibition games leading up their regular-season opener.
Montana will host Minot State on Monday, Nov. 5, at 7 p.m. at Dahlberg Arena, then open the regular season at Temple on Friday, Nov. 9.
Coverage: Montana's two exhibition games will not have over-the-air broadcasts, but video and audio options for both games will be available at GoGriz.com. GoGriz.com will also feature live stats of both exhibition games.
New for this season, the Lady Griz will be heard on KVWE 101.5 FM and KGVO 1290 AM and no longer on 107.5. When there is a conflict with the men's basketball team, the Lady Griz will be aired on KMPT 930 AM.
Game preview: Carroll, which is playing its first game of the season Tuesday, may be an NAIA program, but the Fighting Saints will hardly be overwhelmed by their surroundings or the talent level of the opponent Tuesday night.
Carroll has three transfers from Weber State, and all of them were at least part-time starters for the Wildcats before joining former WSU assistant coach Rachelle Sayers in Helena, and all three of them are from Montana.
Senior center Joey O'Neill, of Butte, who played in just six games last year before suffering a broken foot, is in her second year at Carroll. She moved with Sayers when former Weber State coach Carla Taylor and her staff were let go following the 2010-11 season.
Senior guard Megan Patterson, of Columbus, and junior guard Jordan Pfau, of Arlee, stayed with Weber State last season, then transferred to Carroll at year's end.
Carroll, which received 18 votes in the preseason NAIA national poll, also returns three of its top five scorers from last year's team that went 13-16 in its first season under Sayers.
"They had a good team last year, and then they added Patterson and Pfau, so they're going to have a very good team," said Lady Griz coach Robin Selvig.
"They not only get the Division I transfers, they are getting them from a school where they were running similar things to what Carroll is using, so I think they'll be able to step right in and be comfortable."
Patterson played in all 29 of WSU's games last winter, getting 22 starts, and finished third on the team in scoring (10.0/g). She was the team's second-leading scorer the year before.
Her 61 3-pointers ranked sixth in the Big Sky Conference, her .361 shooting percentage from three ranked third. She connected on 73 threes the season before, which to put in perspective would have been a Montana single-season record by one over Sonya Rogers' program-leading 72 from 2007-08.
Patterson has found Dahlberg Arena and the Lady Griz defense to her liking. She has gone 9 for 17 from three on Weber's trips to Missoula the previous two winters.
Pfau started 15 games and played in all 29 last year, averaging 5.4 and 2.8 rebounds per game.
Carroll's top returning player is senior guard Torrie Cahill. She averaged 10.0 points and 5.3 rebounds last season while starting all 29 games.
Sayers, a Montana native who was first-team All-Big Sky Conference as a player at Weber State, is in her second year at Carroll after spending 14 seasons at Taylor's side. That history gives Selvig at least some familiarity going into Tuesday's game.
"I've known Rachelle for a long, long time, and she's a very good coach," Selvig said. "I would expect them to play tough, hardnosed defense, which was a trademark at Weber State, and run some similar things (offensively) that Weber did."
Montana will be looking to build on its solid offensive game, at least by its veteran players, from last Thursday's Maroon and Silver scrimmage.
Selvig put his presumed starters on the Maroon team and the team's four healthy newcomers on the seven-player Silver team. Maroon jumped out to a 28-11 halftime lead and won 63-42 following some halftime personnel adjustments.
The five starters on Maroon -- seniors Katie Baker, Kenzie De Boer and Alyssa Smith and juniors Torry Hill and Jordan Sullivan -- shot 54.3 percent, with Hill, who switched to the Silver team at the half, scoring 23 points on 5-of-5 3-point shooting.
Baker had 16 points, De Boer 14. Both shot 50 percent or better from the floor.
"When you have four freshmen playing on one team, I would hope that our nucleus of returning players could dominate them," Selvig said. "It would have been a bad sign if they couldn't.
"There were some good performances, and some of the things I thought we weren't doing very well, we weren't doing that badly when we watched the film. We'll learn a lot more once we play someone else."
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