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Montana Lady Griz ride hot start at Portland State to fourth straight win

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Posted at 4:47 PM, Feb 24, 2024

PORTLAND, Ore. — Make it four straight wins for the Montana women's basketball team.

The Lady Griz got out to a hot start Saturday at Portland State, building a 17-point lead in the first quarter before holding on for a 76-65 Big Sky Conference win over the Vikings.

Montana was red hot in the first 10 minutes, making 13 of 17 field goals, including 5 of 8 from 3-point range. Carmen Gfeller led a balanced offensive attack with eight points in the first quarter. Dani Bartsch added seven points and Mack Konig and Maggie Espenmiller-McGraw each had six in the opening period.

The advantage built in the first quarter would be good enough to hold off Portland State the rest of the way. The Vikings got within eight points in the second quarter and nine in the second half but would get no closer.

Gfeller, who became the program's all-time leader in career games played earlier this week, finished with a double-double of 17 points and 12 rebounds. Bartsch had 19 points and six rebounds, while Espenmiller-McGraw had 15 and Gina Marxen had 13. Marxen added eight assists, and Espenmiller-McGraw had five.

Esmeralda Morales had 31 points to lead Portland State.

Montana (19-7 overall, 11-4 Big Sky Conference) have a two-game home stand next week. The Lady Griz host Eastern Washington on Thursday, Feb. 29, and Idaho on Saturday, March 2.