(Editor's Note: Montana State Press Release)
BOZEMAN -- Junior Myah Selland lived up to her billing, scoring nine unanswered points in the final 3 minutes and 45 seconds of the third quarter to give South Dakota State a comfortable advantage en route to an 82-67 victory over Montana State on Monday afternoon in Worthington Arena.
Montana State (2-3) closed to within 48-43 at the 3:52 mark of the third stanza on an Ashley Van Sickle layup, but South Dakota State (6-2) responded with a 12-5 run to take a 60-48 lead into the final frame.
The Jackrabbits built their largest lead at 69-48 with 6 minutes, 59 seconds left. The Bobcats whittled the lead down to nine points on a 19-7 run with just more than a minute remaining but would get no closer.
“Against a top team like South Dakota State you don’t have the luxury of making a lot of mistakes,” said MSU head coach Tricia Binford. “I think we’ve hit a wall mentally and physically, and we need a break. We’ve played five games in the last 11 days against a brutal schedule. We haven’t had time to focus on ourselves, which is something we need with such a young team."
“The positive is that we have a lot of film against good quality opponents,” Binford added. “We need to do some teaching, figure things out and get ready for the conference season.”
South Dakota State, which is receiving votes in this week’s AP Top 25 and is ranked eighth in the CollegeInsider.com Mid-Major top 25, jumped out to a 19-13 lead after the opening 10 minutes. Midway through the second quarter, the Bobcats went on a 9-0 run to take a 29-27 lead with 2 minutes, 29 seconds remaining in the half following a Darian White jumper.
The Jackrabbits, however, countered with an 8-2 run down the stretch to take a 35-31 advantage into intermission.
Selland, a preseason all-Summit League first-team selection, finished with 27 points, connecting on 8 of 14 from the field and 9 of 9 from the line to pace three Jackrabbits in double digits.
“In the last two games we’ve given up 27 and 31 points (to post players),” Binford said. “I was happy with our post play (Monday) but in terms of balance we need to establish an interior presence for a full 40 minutes. And that’s something we will work on before the start of the Big Sky season.”
Montana State was led by Tori Martell with 16 points, White 14 and freshman Leia Beattie 12.
For the game, MSU shot 37.1 percent from the field, 30.8 percent from 3-point range and 65 percent at the line. Martell led the Bobcats from long distance, connecting on 4 of 8 from beyond the arc. SDSU shot 46.3 percent from the floor and converted 25 of 31 from the line.
The Jackrabbits out-rebound the Bobcats 42-33. Selland led all players with 12 rebounds. MSU was paced under the glass by White and Lindsay with five rebounds apiece.
MSU will take a short Christmas break before traveling to Southern Utah for the Big Sky opener on Dec. 31 in Cedar City.