BROOKINGS, S.D. — The Montana State women's basketball team couldn't overcome a sluggish first quarter against South Dakota State Saturday, losing 61-53 to the Jackrabbits.
The Jacks made four 3-pointers in the first quarter to build a 24-15 advantage. The teams played even the rest of the way, with SDSU able to keep the Bobcats at arm's length until midway through the fourth quarter.
After trailing by 11 early in the fourth, Montana State went on a 7-0 spurt to get within 52-48 with 6:40 to play. The Bobcats got within 54-41 moments later on a 3-pointer from Natalie Picton, but SDSU's Ellie Colbeck immediately answered with her own 3, and the Jacks would ice away the win from there.
Marah Dykstra led Montana State with 14 points, while Taylor Janssen (11) and Madison Hall (10) also finished in double figures. The Cats, though, shot just 37.3% for the game and only 25% from 3-point range.
The Jacks were only slightly better, shooting 39.2% from the floor and 30.4% from 3. Madison Mathiowetz had 14 points to lead SDSU.
Montana State returns home with an 8-7 overall record after splitting its games in the Big Sky Conference-Summit League Challenge. The Cats resume their Big Sky Conference schedule on Jan. 11 at Northern Arizona. They're 2-0 in league play after getting wins over Idaho State and Weber State to close out 2023.