(Editor's note: Montana State news release)
CHENEY, Wash. — Taylor Janssen’s three-pointer from the left baseline with one minute remaining gave Montana State its biggest lead of the game and proved to be all the Bobcats needed as a triple by Eastern Washington’s Jaydia Martin with one second left went long off the iron handing MSU a 62-61 win over the Eagles on Thursday night at Reese Court.
The victory was MSU’s first on the road since defeating North Dakota on Nov. 19 in Grand Forks.
“The kids stayed the course, kept their composure and grinded out a win on the road,” said MSU head coach Tricia Binford. “We knew if we could keep it in the 60s against a prolific offense like Eastern Washington’s, we would be in the hunt.
“We missed some bunnies in the first half,” she added. “But in the second half, we hit the right shots at the right time. We made some big-time threes and big-time free throws. We will celebrate the win tonight and get back to work tomorrow.”
The game featured 12 lead changes and six ties as Montana State (12-10, 6-3) found itself down 31-21 with 3 minutes, 30 seconds left in the second quarter. MSU was able to cut the margin in half as Eastern Washington (16-5, 6-2) held a 32-27 advantage at intermission.
Sophomore Marah Dykstra paced MSU in the opening 20 minutes posting 13 points and four rebounds. The 6-2 forward from Vancouver, B.C., Canada finished with a career-high 21 points, connecting on seven-of-12 from the field and seven-of-eight at the free throw line.
“Marah was patient, aggressive and set the tone for us,” Binford stated.
Trailing by eight points at the 6:47 mark of the third period, the Bobcats rattled off an 11-4 run pulling within one-point following a Katelyn Limardo three-pointer with a minute left in the quarter. Limardo returned to the Bobcat line-up following a three-game absence and produced 14 points, four rebounds and two steals.
“It was great to have KJ (Limardo) back,” Binford said. “She forces defenses to guard her on the perimeter. Teams can’t pack it in on us and it opens up driving lanes.”
EWU held a six-point lead with 6 minutes, 10 seconds left in the contest, but the Bobcats held the Eagles to just three-of-ten from the field down the stretch using a 13-4 run capped by Janssen’s heroics. A Jamie Lorea layup with 45-seconds remaining concluded the scoring.
Also reaching double figures for the Bobcats was fifth-year guard Madison Hall who recorded 10 points, while hauling down six rebounds. Janssen finished with five points and a team-best seven rebounds, and starting point-guard Natalie Picton added eight points, three steals and two assists.
Loera paced Eastern Washington with 15 points and six rebounds.
Montana State plays at Idaho on Saturday at 3 p.m. (MT) in Moscow.