CollegeMontana State Bobcats


Esmeralda Morales, the Big Sky Conference's leading scorer, transferring to Montana State

Posted at 12:12 PM, Apr 16, 2024
and last updated 2024-04-16 17:25:33-04

BOZEMAN — Esmeralda Morales, the Big Sky Conference's leading scorer last season at Portland State, is joining the Montana State women's basketball program.

Morales announced her commitment to coach Tricia Binford and the Bobcats on social media on Tuesday.

Morales, a 5-foot-5 guard from Spanaway, Wash., will be a senior next season. She was a first-team All-Big Sky selection last season as a junior, averaging 16.5 points, 2.8 assists, 2.4 rebounds and 1.1 steals per game. Morales shot 37.3% from the floor, 33.9% from 3-point range and a Big Sky-leading 90.3% from the free throw line.

The Vikings finished 8-23 last season and 3-15 in conference play.

Morales was also a second-team all-conference choice in 2022-23 as a sophomore when she averaged 15.8 points, 3.0 assists and 2.0 steals per game. As a freshman, she led Portland State in points (12.5), assists (3.7) and steals (1.9) per game.

Morales will join a Montana State team that went 17-16 last season, including 10-8 in conference play. The Bobcats defeated Northern Colorado at the Big Sky Conference tournament before ending their season with a 56-39 loss to eventual tournament champion Eastern Washington in the semifinal round.

Montana State returns its top four players in total minutes played last season: Natalie Picton, Taylor Janssen, Marah Dykstra and Katelynn Limardo. Janssen, Limardo and Lexi Deden, who missed most of last season with an injury, have each announced their intentions to use their fifth seasons of eligibility next year.