(Editor's Note: Montana State Press Release)
BOZEMAN — After struggling getting out of the starting gate in the past few weeks, the Montana State women’s basketball squad rectified the situation connecting on 10-of-15 in the first quarter en route to a 70-53 victory over Idaho State on Saturday afternoon in front of 2,107 fans in Worthington Arena.
Montana State (18-8, 11-3) held a 23-14 lead after the opening frame as Darian White torched the net with seven points as the Bobcats shot 66.7% as a team.
The Bobcats built its largest lead of the half at 28-16 at the 8:30 mark, but Idaho State (10-14, 5-8) was able to cut the margin to 35-30 at intermission.
“We played a complete game,” said MSU head coach Tricia Binford. “We got off to a great start and were able to establish our post play. Idaho State knocked down some threes, but we tightened things up defensively, especially in the second half.”
Montana State used a 13-2 run midway through the third quarter building a 57-41 lead heading into the final frame. The run was sparked by freshman Marah Dykstra who scored five points during the stretch and White, who converted four-of-four from the free throw line.
The Bobcats built its largest lead of the contest at 67-45 with 3:26 remaining on a Grace Beasley step-back jumper from the baseline.
“It was a pretty physical game, but I thought we did a much better job fighting through it than what we did on Thursday night against Weber State,” Binford said. “I’m happy to see we put up 32 points in the paint, and that we had 25 points from our bench.
“We’re at our strongest when we have good balance, and everyone working together,” she added.
White finished the contest with a game-high 19 points, while adding four rebounds. The product of Boise, Idaho notched her 1,600thcareer point on her basket of the game, making her just the fourth player in MSU women’s history to reach the milestone.
Kola Bad Bear also hit double-digits with 10 points, while pulling down three rebounds and dishing out a career-matching four assists. Katelynn Limardo, Leia Beattie, Dykstra, and Beasley all finished with eight points. The Bobcats were led under the glass by Beasley and Dykstra with five rebounds, apiece.
For the game, MSU shot 42.1% from the field and 89.5% from the line where it converted 17-of-19 attempts.
Idaho State was led by Callie Bourne with 19 points and six rebounds.
Montana State host Montana on Saturday, Feb. 18 at 2 p.m. in Worthington Arena.