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Bench bolsters Saints in women’s win over Trinity Bible

Presentation College’s Evelyn Abundes, center, goes up with a shot between Trinity Bible College’s Abby Molan, far left, Rachel De Campos, right and Stacia West, far right, during Tuesday night’s game at the Strode Activity Center. Abundes came off the bench to score 12 points in the contest. Photo by John Davis taken 11/29/2022

The depth of the Presentation College women’s basketball team was on display at the Strode Center Tuesday night.

The Saints received 39 points and 26 rebounds from their reserves in a 70-42 non-conference women’s college basketball win over Trinity Bible.

“We thought that was going to be a strength of our team from the start of the season,” said PC coach Carley Jeffrey.

While that hasn’t always been the case so far because of injuries, the contributions from the bench definitely played a key role against the Lions, who only had two reserves total on their bench who produced just one basket.

Reserve Kanae Carman led the Saints in scoring with 14 points and provided a spark in the second quarter. She finished the game on 6-of-9 shooting, most coming on drives to the basket.

“When I get off the bench I just have the mindset of going and getting it,” Carman said. “I’m a lefty. Not many people are lefties. I just have that drive mentality. I have an advantage a little bit, because not many people know how to guard a lefty.”

Standing at 5-feet-7, Carman is not intimidated at all when she drives into the lane against taller opponents.

“That’s one thing about me, I’m small, but a big body in the mindset,” Carman said. “I’m not afraid to get that contact and go in.”

Jeffrey knows all about Carman’s ability to finish at the rim.

Presentation College’s Kanae Carman, left, goes up with a shot as Trinity Bible College’s Morgan Carlson, right, defends during Tuesday night’s game at the Strode Activity Center. Photo by John Davis taken 11/29/2022

“She’s one of the best finishers that I’ve ever seen, just the footwork that she uses,” Jeffrey said. “She’s so strong physically as a guard.”

Carman wasn’t the only reserve to have a major impact in the contest as the Saints jumped out to an early lead and were never in trouble after that.

The bench produced in ways that Jeffrey had envisioned when the season began.

“Kayla (Carman) came in. She had 10 rebounds and being a 5-5 point guard, that’s pretty good. And then her sister, Kanae came in and really provided us an offensive spark. So it was great to see that,” Jeffrey said. “I thought Grace (Lupumba) and KD (Petersen) did some really nice things in the post. We hope going forward that’s who we can be. We were hoping we could be a team that could play 9-10 deep every night, so we’re really hoping that some of these new players have really started to get their footing and find what their role can be for us.”

Emma Ogitchida and reserve Evelyn Abundes both added a dozen points to the PC total.

Ogitchida also hauled down 11 rebounds, and Lupumba added eight as the Saints outrebounded Trinity Bible by a 51-26 margin.

“I was really excited about the way we rebounded. We dominated the glass,” Jeffrey said. “That was our key coming into the game. That was all we talked about.”

Former Hamlin standout Stacia West topped the Lions with 15 points and Brenna Anderson followed with 13.

PC heads into North Star Athletic Association action this weekend, playing at Mayville State on Saturday and Minnesota-Morris on Sunday. They will do so with some momentum gained from Tuesday night.

“I think you can definitely build off a game like this,” Kanae Carman said. “Our season has started off rough, so I feel like this is a start for us to go into conference and have that confidence to just play hard and play our game like we know how to play.”

The Saints have played a brutal schedule to start the season, so it was good to get some validation about the work they are putting in, according to Jeffrey.

“We started with kind of a gauntlet of a schedule, playing three ranked NAIA teams. We played three Division II teams,” Jeffrey said. “This was really good for our kids to kind of just feel that things are working.”

To see a box score of the game, click on the following link:

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