(Editor’s note: Montana State University press release)
BOZEMNAN – Despite a five-point lead at halftime the Montana State women’s basketball team couldn’t contain Northern Colorado’s 1-2 punch of Savannah Smith and Savannah Scott as the Bears rallied for a 78-63 win over the Bobcats on Saturday afternoon in Worthington Arena.
Northern Colorado (16-6, 8-3) took a 21-15 advantage after the opening ten-minutes as Smith posted 15 points for the Bears. Montana State (13-9, 7-4) answered in the second frame with a 16-4 run in the final eight-minutes as six different Bobcats scored, including seven from senior Delany Junkermier.
“We had a hard time stopping Smith in the first quarter, but we were able to make some adjustments in the second quarter and slow her down,” Binford said. “We were able to get some stops and we started knocking down some shots.”
The Bobcats shot 55 percent from the field in the second quarter and connected on seven-of-nine from the line.
Northern Colorado reversed its fortune in the third period, shooting 72 percent from the field to take a 58-51 lead into the final quarter. The Bears opened the fourth quarter on a 5-0 run and the Bobcats never got closer than nine-points down the stretch.
“Offensively, the third quarter was a grind,” Binford said. “I thought we became stagnant and the opportunities we did have, we didn’t convert. You have to give credit to Northern Colorado as it was difficult to get good looks at the basket.”
One of the nation’s top 3-point shooting teams, the Bobcats connected on just five triples. It was the lowest total for MSU in Big Sky Conference play and just one more than the season low of four 3-pointers at Omaha on Nov. 17.
Montana State had three players in double-figures led by Junkermier with 18. Rebekah Hatchard and Madeline Smith added 12 and 10, respectively.
Northern Colorado was led by Smith with 24 points, while Scott added 21 points, nineteen of which came in the second half.
The loss snapped MSU’s five game winning streak.
Montana State will play at Sacramento State on Thursday night.