(Editor’s note: Montana State media release)
BOZEMAN — The Montana State women’s basketball team overcame a double-digit halftime deficit to notch a 66-59 win over Weber State on Thursday night in the Dee Events Center.
Montana State (10-8, 5-3) trailed early as Weber State (4-14, 1-7) jumped out to an 8-0 advantage. The Bobcats closed to within two-points after the opening frame, but the Wildcats pushed its margin to 33-23 at intermission as Jaiamoni Welch-Coleman connected on a jumper with six-seconds remaining.
Weber State out-rebounded MSU 28-15 in the opening half and out-scored the Bobcats 22-6 in the paint.
“We asked the team at halftime what our identity was,” said MSU head coach Tricia Binford. “We had zero free throws and were not attacking through our post. Defensively, we had to make adjustments because we were giving up offensive boards and way too much in the paint.”
Montana State opened the third quarter on a 16-4 run capped by Martha Kuderer’s three-pointer at the 4:26 mark to give the Bobcats its first lead at 39-37. Tori Martell’s triple with 2:49 left gave MSU a five-point advantage, before WSU answered with five unanswered points. The Bobcats held a 47-46 lead heading into the final period.
The fourth quarter featured two ties and a lead change before a pair of free throws by Gabby Mocchi with 4:11 remaining ignited a 6-0 run. The run was highlighted by a Blaire Braxton layup with 2:02 left to give MSU a 60-54 advantage.
Weber State’s Dominique Williams nailed a three-pointer to cut the margin to 60-57 with a little over a minute remaining but Claire Lundberg responded with a triple of her own to give MSU some breathing room. Oliana Squires put the game to bed connecting on three-of-four charity tosses in the final 18-seconds to secure the win.
Lundberg paced all scorers with a game-high 23 points, while Braxton and Martell added 13 and ten, respectively.
MSU out-scored the Wildcats 43-26 in the second half, shooting 42 percent from the field, including a six-of-12 effort from long distance. The Bobcats also turned the tables under the glass out-rebounding WSU 20-16.
“We responded and had a great second half,” Binford stated. “I’m proud of how they regrouped and found a way to win.”
Braxton and Kuderer guided Montana State under the boards with seven rebounds, apiece, while Martell hauled down five.
Welch-Coleman paced Weber State with 16 points, five assists and four rebounds.
The Bobcats play at Idaho State on Saturday afternoon beginning at 2 p.m. in Pocatello.