(Editor’s note — Montana State Athletics release)
POCATELLO — Like a good Dickens’ novel, it was the tale of two halves.
Idaho State out-scored Montana State 34-14 in the second half, en route to a 61-43 victory over the Bobcats on Saturday afternoon in Reed Gym.
Idaho State (12-6, 7-2) held Montana State (10-9, 5-4) to nine points in the third quarter and just five in the final frame. MSU was one-of-11 from the field in the fourth quarter and finished the game shooting 21.7 percent overall.
Meanwhile, the Bengals shot 48 percent from the field in the second half to cruise to the win.
The first half saw the Bobcats right where they wanted to be as Martha Kuderer torched the Reed Gym net with 18 points, connecting on five-of-seven from the field, including a four-of-four effort from long distance and a four-of-four performance from the line.
The Bobcats held a 13-9 lead after the opening period and built the margin to 25-19 at the 5:13 mark of the second quarter following an Ashley Van Sickle three-pointer. MSU entered intermission sporting a slim 29-27 advantage.
Idaho State opened the second half with a 14-4 run and kept an eight-point cushion heading into the final 10-minutes. The Bobcats were unable to get any closer in the fourth quarter shooting a dismal 9.1 percent from the floor.
“We’re learning how to put together a complete 40-minute effort,” said MSU head coach Tricia Binford. “I was proud of our first half defense, and Martha (Kuderer) really kept us in the game. In the second half we had some defensive breakdowns and missed box-outs along with unforced turnovers that are uncharacteristic of our team. ISU dominated the possession game off our miscues and we couldn’t recover.
“We need to turn the page and get better on Monday,” Binford added.
Despite pouring in 18 points in the first half, Kuderer was held scoreless in the second half. She was the only Bobcat to reach double-figures. MSU’s top scorer Claire Lundberg finished with eight points, while Tori Martell added seven.
ISU also dominated the boards, out-rebounding MSU 40-25. Madeline Smith and Blaire Braxton led the Bobcats with six and five rebounds, respectively.
Idaho State was paced by Grace Kenyon with 19 points and 11 rebounds.
Montana State will host Montana next Saturday afternoon in Worthington Arena.