HELENA — The Montana State-Northern women’s basketball team is probably glad it doesn’t have to see Carroll College senior Hannah Dean again.
At least on the regular season schedule.
Just two weeks after scoring a career-high 29 points on the Skylights up in Havre, Dean and the Saints returned home to the PE Center for the final meeting between the two teams.
It wasn’t a career high, but she still led all scorers with 23 points and six rebounds as the Saints took home a 58-45 Frontier Conference win.
For Northern coach Chris Mouat, he said Dean poses so many different problems to a defense.
“She’s a second-team All-American for a reason,” Mouat said. “She can score near the rim, has a great midrange and can step back and hit a 3.”
Dean found her touch midway through the first quarter when she scored a jump shot from the elbow. She added two more scores and the Saints (19-7, 11-4) quickly found themselves ahead 13-6 at the end of the quarter.
In the second half, Dean showed off her range when she pulled back and hit a 3-pointer from the wing.
Dean is only shooting 15 percent beyond the 3-point arc, but she said she doesn’t mind taking the outside jump shot once in a while.
“I definitely worked on it this past summer,” said Dean of her 3-point shooting. “I shot more in high school."
Northern (12-15, 4-11) gained some momentum late in the second quarter when Tiara Gilham scored inside followed by a 3-pointer by the Skylights’ leading scorer Payton Kehr.
By halftime, a once eight-point lead had diminished to just a 24-19 lead.
“I thought it was more about us,” Carroll coach Rachelle Sayers said. “Northern really stalled us and we were kind of confused, not moving the ball. We really just needed to get into our offense."
Northern tried to keep its momentum from the first half but it shifted back-and-forth.
The Skylights stayed within five points after a basket by Gilham, but Carroll gave Dean some help when sophomore Danielle Wagner hit two 3-pointers.
Wagner not only finished with nine points, but also grabbed a team-high seven rebounds.
Carroll controlled the remainder of the game after Jaidyn Lyman hit a 3-pointer as the Saints rolled to their fourth consecutive win.
But the schedule doesn’t let up for either team.
Carroll hosts No. 23 Providence on Saturday, while the Skylights travel to east to Billings for a meeting with No. 24 Rocky Mountain.
“I think we are fortunate or unfortunate, I don’t know which, that we play in the best conference in the country,” Sayers said. “We don’t have anybody at the bottom that you can take a break with. Anyone can beat anyone on any given night.”