(Editor’s note: Montana State University press release)
BOZEMAN – Montana State had six players in double-figure scoring and dominated the glass out-rebounding Long Beach State 52-22, en route an 85-62 win over the 49ers on Friday night in Worthington Arena.
Montana State (4-2) jumped out early out-scoring Long Beach State (1-6) 25-5 in the first quarter. The Bobcats were paced in the opening 10-minutes by Claire Lundberg and Oliana Squires with six points apiece. As a team, MSU shot 53 percent from the field and held a 17-4 advantage on the boards.
“We responded really well from our last road trip and set the tone early,” said 14th-year MSU head coach Tricia Binford. “We showed that we can be a really strong rebounding team. We talked about setting the tone on the glass. And, offensively, I really liked how we came out and shared the ball.”
The Bobcats built a 22-point lead at the 2:05 mark of the second quarter on a layup by Madeline Smith and held a 43-24 advantage at intermission.
MSU opened the third frame with six consecutive points and held a 20-point cushion throughout the quarter. The Bobcats built its largest lead of the contest at 76-44 with 6:43 remaining on a Tori Martell three-pointers.
Blaire Braxton came off the bench to pace MSU with a career-high 15 points, connecting on five-of-five from the field and five-of-five from the free throw line. MSU’s other post player Madeline Smith recorded a double-double with 10 points and a game-best 11 rebounds.
“We have two fives that are super seasoned and experienced, and also very tough.” Binford said. “We had good rebounding across the board. It was a good total defensive effort by the entire team, and then on the offensive end we had extreme balance. That’s kind of what we’re envisioning us to be, and we just haven’t been clicking. I felt like (tonight) was the first night some things came together.”
Also in double-digits for the Cats were Squires 13, Claire Lundberg and Martha Kuderer 12, and Martell 10. MSU shot 48.4 percent for the game and held the 49ers to 38.2 percent.
Montana State did a nice job shutting down LBS’s leading scorer Shanaijah Davison. The 5-8 sophomore guard entered the game averaging 16.3 points per contest. MSU held her to five points on two-of-17 from the field.
The 49ers were led by Justina King with a career-high 29 points.
Montana State will play at Stephen F. Austin on Thursday, Dec. 6 in Nacogdoches, Texas.