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2/4 - The Lady Freemen basketball squad traveled south of the border to Minneapolis, MN this past weekend for a pair of NCCAA regional games against the North Central University Rams and the Faith Baptist Bible College Eagles.
While the ladies in blue hoped to leave the weekend with strong positioning for the regional playoffs, they ended up returning empty-handed, losing 66-58 to the Eagles on Friday evening and falling 74-43 on Saturday afternoon to the Rams.
In Friday’s match Providence and Faith played back-and-forth ball with each team taking turns with the lead. But some strong first half play from Sonia Radi (16 pts., 7 rebounds, 4 steals) helped keep the Lady Freemen up by five, 34-29, at the half. However, the Eagles began to take control in the second half and added more pressure onto the full-court play of the Lady Freemen to maintain it. Providence also allowed too many easy looks for the Eagles, and let a winnable game slip away to become a 66-58 loss. Gena Charr (13 pts., 5 steals) and Amanda Franz (11 pts., 10 rebounds) both put in strong games in the losing effort.
Providence then looked to rebound against the NCU Rams on Saturday afternoon. The Rams had other plans though, as they came out shooting hot and hitting 7/8 distance shots to begin the game. NCU continued to use their strong defensive play and hot hands to cruise to an early 25-7 lead midway through the first half, and a 46-19 halftime lead.
The Lady Freemen came out in the second half with much more composure and worked their plays much better. Providence also went to a tenacious man-to-man defensive scheme and made life much harder for their opponents, but the Rams were already too far ahead and continued on to win the game 74-43. Kristi Larson led the way for the Lady Freemen with 16 points while Gena Charr pulled in 10 points and eight rebounds and Sarah Bezditny grabbed eight boards.
The pair of losses came after a strong weekend for the Lady Freemen where they saw themselves pull out back-to-back wins against the Assiniboine Community College Cougars from Brandon, MB. Providence played the first game without two starters, Melanie Warkentine and Sonia Radi, and the second game without their third starter (Gena Charr), but were still able to come away with 74-34 and 70-46 wins.
In the first game, Gena Charr put in a season-high 28 points Friday night to go with seven assists, five rebounds and five assists. Kathy Kallis earned a double-double with 11 points and an incredible 17 rebounds, while Kristi Larson almost completed the rare triple-double with 18 points, eight rebounds and nine assists.
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Otterburne, Manitoba, Canada, R0A 1G0
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