BOZEMAN — The Montana State women have had their ups and downs on this young season, but there’s truly no place like home for the Cats.
They proved that again this weekend.
Opponents heading into Bozeman know that beating the Lady Bobcats is a nearly impossible task. For the last 31 games, it has been just that. MSU owns the second-longest home winning streak in the country with that mark. The latest additions to the streak came over the weekend as the Bobcats opened Big Sky Conference play with a pair of dominant home wins, an effort capped by a 42-point drubbing of Northern Arizona on Saturday afternoon.
“Defense creates offense,” forward Madeline Smith said of the 81-39 blowout of the Lumberjacks. “Our defense was great and our offense kind of answered with it.”
“Kind of” is an understatement. Montana State made 16 three-pointers against NAU, two days after making 18 against Southern Utah.
“We’re all shooting with a lot of confidence lately,” said guard Oliana Squires. “We’ve just got to continue to shoot and, when we miss, not stop shooting, I guess.”
The 34 threes is a back-to-back record for the Bobcats. Although those numbers shouldn’t be expected every night this winter, it isn’t a coincidence.
“The last two games are probably the first two games where we’ve seen chemistry start to show,” said head coach Tricia Binford.
Montana State now heads into the new year tied atop the Big Sky Conference, a familiar place for the two-time defending champs. But the Cats know they still have some work to do.
“We’re still turning the ball over at too high of a rate,” Binford said. “But I do like the growth that we are seeing, particularly from our underclassmen. That’s something that makes coach really happy.”
A pair of blowout wins will make any coach happy. If the Bobcats can continue to improve and shoot the ball remotely as well as they did over the weekend, there will be no limit to Binford’s excitement.