MISSOULA — The Montana Lady Griz put together a historic effort from beyond the arc on Saturday afternoon as the Lady Griz knocked down 19 3-pointers en route to a 84-57 win over Sacramento State at Dahlberg Arena.
It's a mark Montana nearly broke multiple times this season, and it topples the previous record of 16 3-pointers initially made back on Feb. 4, 2006 against Idaho State. The Lady Griz tied the mark twice this season when they hosted South Dakota on Jan. 3 and at Weber State on Jan. 22.
Freshman Macey Huard hit the record-breaking 3-pointer with 4:28 left to play in the fourth quarter and Dani Bartsch added a pair of triples later to extend the record.
Maggie Espenmiller-McGraw led the way for UM with 19 points and went 5 for 7 from deep while Bartsch finished with 15 points and 14 rebounds for her sixth double-double of the season, and added four blocks and three steals.
Bartsch also only shot threes in the game, going 5 for 11 from the field. Carmen Gfeller added 17 points while MJ Bruno and Gina Marxen each added 10.
"I can't believe I shot 11," Bartsch said with a laugh. "Didn't think I shot that many. I think that's the most shots I've had all year let alone from the 3-point line but there's so many weapons on our team that if it's me shooting that many or someone else, so I feel like there's so many people on our floor that all of us are okay if they shoot 11 threes.
"My coaches and teammates just have a ton of confidence in me. Those shots fall everyday in practice and they know I'm capable and they'll keep passing it to me and they keep telling me them to shoot them."
Mack Konig once again led the way distributing with eight of Montana's 19 assists in the contest as UM won its third straight game — all of which came by at least 27 points — and improved to 14-5 overall and 6-2 in Big Sky Conference play. The Lady Griz now sit in third in the conference standings behind Northern Arizona and Eastern Washington.
"Our point guards start it all. We picked up our tempo in transition and our point guards have stayed super aggressive," Bartsch said. "They have to respect them. They go under, our point guards are stepping back and knocking down threes, driving hard, we just have to as a team get into the right motion spot so that they can see us. We have so many weapons and I feel like we've ramped up the intensity and aggressiveness in our offense."
UM shot 19 for 41 from deep and converted 49.2% of its shots from the field. The game was tight early as UM led just 45-35 at halftime. But the Lady Griz regrouped and clamped down in the second half to run away as they completed their fourth game in eight days, a stretch that saw them go 3-1.
Sac State shot just 34.5% from the field in the game. Both teams turned it over 13 times but UM won the rebounding battle 41 to 28. Solape Amusan led the Hornets with 19 points. After winning the Big Sky tournament a season ago, Sac State dropped to 1-18 overall and 0-8 in league play.
"For us, after a poor game, we've increased the intensity and we've tried to keep the tempo high," UM head coach Brian Holsinger. "We play our best when the tempo is high. We're trying to get into the paint and make layups and make threes and people have given us threes so when we get them we want to shoot them. And when you're shooting a high percentage, it statistically makes sense.
"I think they've turned a corner a little bit on understanding our identity and who we are and what we need to do every game. Our defense has improved and our offense and pace, we have to play with really good tempo, and I think we're starting to discover who we are and what we want to be about and this is the right time of year to do that."
The Lady Griz wore turquoise uniforms Saturday as they commemorated their second annual N7 basketball game. The N7 games are initiatives by Nike to celebrate Native American heritage.
The Lady Griz hit the road next week and play at Idaho on Thursday and at Eastern Washington on Saturday.