(Editor’s note: Montana State University press release)
BOZEMAN – On a night when Montana State broke its all-time mark for most three-pointers in a season, it was Idaho that stole the show from long distance connecting on 17-of-32, en route to a 95-77 win over the Bobcats on Thursday night in Worthington Arena.
From the start both squads traded jabs each hitting four triples in the opening 10-minutes. Idaho (14-10, 10-3) used an 11-5 run at the midway mark of the second quarter to build a 46-40 advantage at intermission.
“They were able to break away a little in the second quarter by hitting the open shots, and then they took it at us with their penetration,” said MSU head coach Tricia Binford. “We struggled to protect each other, defensively.”
The Vandals were unstoppable in the third frame connecting on 63.2 percent from the floor, including 66.7 percent from beyond the arc converting eight-of-12 attempts. UI outscored Montana State (13-12, 7-7) 34-19 over the 10-minute period.
“Idaho is too efficient of a team to not give a whole 40-minute effort,” Binford said. “They are a team that you almost have to play perfect defense against and they really exploited us.”
The Bobcats were able to cut a 25-point deficit down to 86-72 with 4:11 remaining following a Delany Junkermier free throw, but MSU would get no closer.
MSU was led in the loss by Junkermier with 17 points, while Hannah Caudill 11, Tori Martell 11, and Madeline Smith 10 also hit double-figures.
For the game, the Bobcats connected on 14-of-33 from three-point range to give them 248 triples on the season setting a MSU record. The old mark of 245 three-pointers was set last season.
MSU finished shooting 43.8 percent from the field and 42.4 percent from behind the three-point line. Idaho hit at a 56.5 percent clip, including 53.1 percent from long range.
The Vandals also held a 36-31 advantage under the boards. The Bobcats were paced by Junkermier with six rebounds.
Idaho had four players in double-digits led by Mikayla Ferenz and Taylor Pierce with 29 and 20 points, respectively.
The Bobcats will close out its 2017-18 home season when it hosts Eastern Washington on Saturday at 2 p.m. MSU will celebrate three seniors, Junkermier, Caudill and Rebekah Hatchard prior to the opening tip.