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Carroll headlines Frontier Conference representation in latest NAIA top-25 poll

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Jaidyn Lyman vs. Rocky Mountain College

Carroll's Jaidyn Lyman greets her teammates during a timeout against Rocky Mountain College last Saturday inside the PE Center.

HELENA  Carroll remains the highest nationally-ranked Frontier Conference basketball program. In the latest NAIA coaches’ top-25 poll released on Wednesday, both Saints teams checked in at No. 6.

The ranking represented a four-spot slide for Carroll’s men’s team after the Saints went 4-2 since the last poll was released on Dec. 15. Carroll’s losses came to a nationally-ranked Arizona Christian team and unranked Rocky Mountain College.

Carroll – currently 16-2 overall and 3-1 in league play – has been ranked no lower than No. 10 so far this season.

Montana Tech was the lone men’s team to join Carroll in the top-25 or receiving votes category. The Orediggers slipped to the middle of the pack in the “receiving votes” portion of the poll after being the top receiving votes team in the Dec. 15 edition. Tech is currently 14-5 overall and 3-1 in league play.

On the women’s side, Carroll fell one spot to No. 6. The Saints were 4-1 since the last poll, falling only to Rocky Mountain on Saturday. Carroll beat defending NAIA National Champion Westmont 67-55 on Dec. 21 but still checked in five points behind the team from California in the poll.

Two of Carroll’s losses this season have come against teams currently ranked No. 1 and No. 2 (Thomas More and Southeastern) in the NAIA.

After beating Carroll and holding a 15-1 record (including a perfect 4-0 mark in Frontier action), Rocky Mountain rose from the “receiving votes” category into a tie with Bryan (Tenn.) for No. 15.

Providence also went from not ranked to No. 22 after a 16-3 start. Montana Western, at 11-4 on the season, fell from No. 21 to No. 25, giving the Frontier four women’s teams ranked inside the top-25.

Wednesday’s poll ensures Thursday’s matchup between Carroll and Providence will be a top-25 showdown. No. 15 Rocky Mountain and No. 25 Western are also scheduled to play in Billings on Thursday.

Carroll remains the only NAIA basketball program with both its men’s and women’s teams ranked in the top-6 nationally.

Email Daniel Shepard at daniel.shepard@406mtsports.com or find him on Twitter @IR_DanielS.

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