Carroll sweeps Montana Western behind Andrew Cook’s 31, Jamie Pickens’ 18

DILLON — Carroll’s women’s basketball team stands atop the Frontier Conference standings, along with Rocky Mountain College, at what is, essentially, the halfway point of league play.

The No. 18-ranked Saints knocked No. 12 Montana Western out of a share of that conference lead Thursday night with a 72-60 road victory.

Carroll, after leading 64-39 through 30 minutes of play, captured its third-straight double-digit conference victory and improved to 3-3 in games against top-25-ranked competition.

Western actually outscored Carroll 52-48 in the game’s final three quarters, largely due to a 21-8 fourth quarter in which the Bulldogs’ starters didn’t play.

A 24-8 first quarter by Carroll, which saw Jamie Pickens score eight of the Saints’ first 15 points and Carroll score 15 of the game’s first 17 points, provided much of the difference.

“They just executed,” Saints head coach Rachelle Sayers said of her players. “They attacked, they were fundamental and they just played with a great sense of purpose.”

Carroll, after getting off to a slow start in a 58-51 loss to Rocky Mountain College two weeks ago, one that had the Saints trailing by 19 points mid-way through the second quarter, has responded with three consecutive fast starts in games since.

Thursday, as Carroll jumped out to a 20-4 advantage in the first and led by as many as 21 points in the second quarter, was the latest example.

“That’s kinda the mindset we’ve decided to take on, ‘we’re gonna be the aggressor,’” Sa