Kola Bad Bear led the way as Montana State kept its edge over rival Lady Griz

Posted at 3:33 PM, Feb 19, 2023

BOZEMAN — Kola Bad Bear more than doubled her average points per game on Saturday. She dropped 23 in her final regular-season Brawl of the Wild, which was the most for her this season.

The senior from Billings left it all on the floor during the 75-73 win over the Montana Lady Griz. Bad Bear went 2 for 2 from beyond the arc, the most for her this season. The special connection with her point guard, fellow senior Darian White, was front and center.

White even gave her some encouragement going into the game.

“Honestly, I just remember looking at Darian, and she was like, 'Let’s go!' Because she was telling me, 'You better shoot that ball if I give it to you and I was like, 'Oh, OK,” Bad Bear said with a smile.

Her key contributions on the court stood out to coach Tricia Binford, and it wasn’t just about her shooting.

“She’s impacting the games in every facet," Binford said. "I mean, we’re talking about her points today, but I thought her post defense was incredible on the interior. Our posts were very active, they had to fight very hard, and she was very good."

A true leader, Binford can rely on Bad Bear each and every game, which is imperative as the Cats enter into the final stretch of their regular season with sights set on repeating their Big Sky tournament title.

“I feel like she just keeps getting better and better," Binford stated. "Even at Idaho State last week, there wasn’t as many points put on the board, but she really facilitates our offense through the post play.”

Bad Bear clinched the game for the Bobcats. Her two made free throws in the final seconds put her team up five points. Her smile didn’t leave her face as she recalled her moment.

“Honestly, it just felt almost exhilarating, I guess," Bad Bear recalled. "You've got to play until the last buzzer sounds, but knowing we had it in that moment when I knocked one down, and (White) again was like, 'We got it. You just got this one, and we’re good.' It just, it just felt really good."

Up next for Bad Bear and her team is a matchup at Sacramento State on Thursday.