LAKELAND, Fla. — Assist watch will be in full effect at the PE Center after the holiday break.
Carroll’s senior point guard Kamden Hilborn, after dishing out five assists in a 62-53 win over Southeastern on Tuesday, is one assist away from tying and two away from breaking the program record for most career assists.
Trish Rennaker holds the current mark after racking up 408 assists from 1995-99.
Hilborn will enter next Thursday’s game against Lakeland College with 407 career assists in four seasons with Carroll.
Jamie Pickens is also nearing a career milestone.
The former Helena High standout in her third season with Carroll scored a game-high 18 points on Tuesday, bringing her to 954 career points as a Saint, 46 shy of 1,000.
Like Hilborn, Pickens will have an opportunity to hit that milestone in front of hometown fans next week.
A one-point game at halftime, Carroll got separation on Southeastern with a 10-0 run late in the third.
Pickens sparked the streak and Kyndall Keller (3-pointer) and Genesis Wilkinson (3-point play) built upon it, sending the Saints into the fourth quarter up seven.
Needing a bucket to stem the Southeastern tide with under eight minutes to play, Carroll turned to Hilborn, who buried a triple, putting the Saints back up by seven.
The Fire never got within two possessions after that as Carroll completed its trip to the Sunshine State a perfect 3-0.
Keller scored 13 points, pulled down five rebounds and was credited with four steals in the victory.
Sienna Swannack and Genesis Wilkinson each added nine points, and Addi Ekstrom chipped in five points and four assists off the bench.
Hilborn followed her historic triple-double on Sunday with five points, six rebounds, five assists and two steals.
Carroll improved to 9-4 overall with the victory, and after two home non-conference games, will begin Frontier Conference play in earnest on Jan. 5.
No. 24-ranked Carroll men go winless in Arizona
For the first time since the 2013-14 season, Carroll’s men’s basketball team has lost four straight games.
The Saints fell to Vanguard University 78-72 on Tuesday, capping an 0-4 trip to the Cactus Classic in Chandler.
“Obviously I’m disappointed,” Saints head coach Kurt Paulson said. “I didn’t feel like I had the guys ready for the tournament, so that one’s on me. I just gotta do a better job of getting this group organized and playing together.”
Carroll tied Tuesday’s contest at 44-44 early in the second half.
The Saints trailed by three with five minutes to play, but an 8-2 spurt by the Lions provided enough breathing room down the stretch.
It’s the Saints’ second loss by six or fewer points in as many days.
“We were right where we needed to be in some of the games,” Paulson said. “I didn’t get us organized enough at crunch times, so I’m gonna take responsibility for that.”
“It was tough because we played very good teams. With such quick turnarounds, it was hard to prepare for each team. That’s why we came down here, to get experience at a tournament.”
“It’s all good experience that we’re getting, but the expectation is to win and I didn’t have the guys ready to win.”
Carroll was down senior guard and second-leading scorer Jonny Hillman for the duration of the tournament. Hillman is dealing with an injury, according to Paulson.
Senior big man Brendan Temple missed Monday’s game against Menlo, but returned to the starting lineup on Tuesday. Temple scored three points, pulled down six rebounds and was credited with three assists in 25 minutes.
Sophomore Andrew Cook once again shouldered the scoring load for Carroll.
Cook scored 21 points on Tuesday, eclipsing the 20-point plateau for the third time in four games and fourth time in his last six.
“Andrew is playing his heart out,” Paulson said.
“We just gotta get more help for him and develop guys. They’re a young group. Like I said, I need to do a better job with them, so I’ll work harder on that.”
Brayden Koch scored 13 points in the loss and Isaiah Moore added 11 off the bench on 5-for-5 shooting.
Garrett Long chipped in 10 points, eight rebounds and three assists.
Carroll, now 7-6 on the season, will take a week off before facing Westmont and Vanguard in California to wrap up the calendar year.