(Editor’s note: Montana State University press release)
BOZEMAN – Idaho State showed no love jumping out to a ten-point advantage after the opening quarter and held the margin throughout the remainder of the game to notch a 62-49 win over Montana State on Thursday night in Worthington Arena.
“Defensively, we were not ready to go,” said MSU head coach Tricia Binford. “We had a great week of practice on the defensive end, but tonight we underachieved.”
Idaho State (16-7, 11-3) built its largest lead of the game at 34-15 at the 3:06 mark of the second period, before Montana State (12-12, 7-7) closed out the frame on a 13-2 run sparked by Tori Martell’s nine-point outburst.
The Bengals took a 36-28 advantage into intermission.
The Bobcats whittled the lead down to 44-40 at the 3:13 mark of the third quarter on an Oliana Squires’ jumper. However, four turnovers, two missed shots and a pair of ISU free throws following a MSU bench technical gave the Bengals a 10-point margin to start the final quarter.
Idaho State opened the final frame on an 8-1 run and never looked back.
“Offensively, we need to be more attack-minded,” Binford said. “I thought we forced the ball too much and you can’t afford to give a team like Idaho State extra possessions.”
Montana State was paced by Martell with a team-high 12 points, while Madeline Smith and Halle Wright added 11, apiece.
Estefania Ors, who got ISU out the gates early with four 3-pointers in the opening 20-minutes, finished with a game-high 16 points, while Grace Kenyon and Delaney Moore added 15 and ten points, respectively.
ISU shot 47.9 percent for the game, including a red-hot 66.7 percent in the first quarter.
The Bobcats shot 37.5 percent from the floor and got progressively better in the second and third quarters before going ice-cold in the final period connecting on just three-of-12 from the field.
The Bengals also won the battle of the boards, out-rebounding MSU 30-26. The Bobcats, who held a two rebound advantage at halftime, were led by Martha Kuderer and Wright with seven and five boards, respectively.
Montana State will host Weber State on Saturday at 2 p.m. in Worthington Arena.