DILLON — Carroll College senior guard Brittney Johnson has had plenty of senior moments.

She scored 23 points against Montana State-Northern in early December.

She finished with seven 3-pointers against Our Lady of the Lake.

But Johnson’s biggest game came Monday night in the Frontier Conference championship game.

She scored just 16 points, but hit a pair of 3-pointers in the fourth quarter as Carroll came away with a 54-50 win over Montana Western to win its second consecutive tournament title.

“This one I knew as a senior I had to step up,” Johnson said, hugging the championship trophy. “There was nothing like it. I have been in big moments before so I knocked down some big shots.”

Johnson didn’t necessarily come in shooting the ball well. She scored a total of 6 points over her last two games.

“Everyone goes through a lull,” Johnson said. “It was my turn but now I’m glad I’m back on course for the National Tournament.”

It didn’t take Johnson long to get going.

She scored the Saints’ first points of the game and three minutes later nailed a 3-pointer from the corner.

Montana Western fought back and got within a a bucket when senior point guard Brianna King hit a 3-pointer in the corner with no time remaining in the first quarter.

The Bulldogs’ momentum continued throughout the first half as King continued to find her touch.

She hit two more 3-pointers and Carroll's lead turned into a Bulldogs’ advantage.

To make matters worse, Saints’ point guard Jaidyn Lyman picked up her second foul and had to watch the remainder of the first half from the bench.

The combination of guards Johnson, Sienna Swannack and Danielle Wagner picked up the ball handling duties, but they were still looking up at a 5-point deficit after 10 minutes of play.

“We just needed to execute and pull together,” Johnson said.

King and the Bulldogs kept rolling throughout the third quarter until they just lost their shooting touch.

King finished with 22 points, but overall misses started to pile up as Carroll began to chip away.

Lyman finally gave the Saints the lead with six minutes remaining in the game when she hit a 3-pointer.

Johnson hit two more shots from distance and the Saints were in firm control.

“You aren’t going to win when you shoot 25 percent in the second half,” Montana Western coach Lindsay Woolley said.

The win gives Carroll its 10th in a row and an automatic bid to the NAIA National Tournament in Billings next week, its third appearance in as many years.

“This means everything to us,” Carroll coach Rachelle Sayers said. “These kids have battled so hard. To be able to win on this court twice is amazing. This team never quits and I couldn’t be more proud.”

Montana Western will have to wait and see what seed it receives when the brackets are released on Wednesday.

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Ryan Kuhn covers Carroll College athletics for the Independent Record and 406mtsports.com. Email him at ryan.kuhn@406mtsports.com or follow him on Twitter at @rskuhn

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