BOZEMAN – Thursday’s game against Southern Utah was a record setting performance by Montana State. They hit 18 three-pointers total, a school-record. But it didn’t come as a surprise to the Cats.
“I had no idea what the school-record was and I had no idea we hit 18. I knew we were shooting the ball very well,” said head coach Tricia Binford. “But at the same time, if you were to come to a practice and watch us in shooting drills in practice settings, there’s nothing knew to that. That’s one of the reasons why we went with this offense.”
Nine of those threes came in the first quarter, a program-record, but their impressive play came from their amazing week of preparation.
“We earned that start by how we practiced that week. Going into the game, that was our pregame speech was earn what you work for, your work ethic and what you deserve,” Binford said. “And it was one of our best week’s of practice we had had and I thought it showed and carried through.”
But the records aren’t much more to them than numbers in a stat sheet.
“It is cool to make that milestone and hit that mile-marker. But I think we are focusing on other things and just being overall solid and building the chemistry more,” said senior point guard Hannah Caudill.
And just a day before at practice, the team said they felt as though they were clicking much better with each other.
“It’s awesome when the whole team is vibing well and the chemistry is good,” Caudill said. “Everyone was playing super well so it made it easier to connect and it made it more fun.”
They earned their first Big Sky win of the season by 20 points and have now won 30-straight games at home, the second-longest streak in the nation only behind UCONN. But MSU is not happy with their play down the stretch against the Thunderbirds.
“Turnovers started popping up, they pressed a little bit, but I think we had a lot of unforced errors and mistakes. And I think that’s something we need to build off of even more,” Caudill.
One thing stood out though, the Bobcat seniors starters. Delaney Junkermier had a career-high 22-points, Caudill had 18 points, and Rebekah Hatchard had 16 points.
“I think when you hit conference your seniors just have another level of sense of urgency,” Binford said. “When you become a senior you realize how fast your career goes and this is when it matters; this is when it’s most important.”
Tomorrow the Cats face another tough task in Northern Arizona.
“A dangerous offensive team, this team can put points on the board. And I think they have a couple players that could be all conference players in the Big Sky,” cautioned Binford. “We’re just going to have to do a great job of being in place and make them earn the shots they get.”