MISSOULA -- On Jan. 15, the Montana Lady Griz suffered from one of their worst shooting performances of the season as they lost to Portland State, 78-65.
On Thursday night, Montana looked like a completely different team as the Lady Griz held off a late Vikings rally to grab a 62-55 win, their second straight Big Sky Conference women's basketball victory.
Montana came out of the gates hot on Thursday evening as it started on a 19-5 run, forcing Portland State to call an early timeout. Out of the timeout, Montana didn't slow down as Gabi Harrington dropped a quick five points to extend the lead. Harrington finished the night with seven points on 3-for-6 shooting from the field in just 15 minutes of playing time.
In the first half, it was all Montana behind a nice performance from forward Emma Stockholm. The senior nearly wracked up a double-double by the time the first half wrapped up. Stockholm went 5 for 6 from the field and pulled down eight rebounds. In the second half, Stockholm pulled down three more boards and scored one more point to round out a double-double performance.
In the second half, Portland Start slowly started to chip away at Montana's 35-22 halftime lead. Behind 11 points from Kylie Jimenez, the Viks outscored Montana 33-27 in the second half. In the final seconds of the third quarter, Jimenez hit a 3-pointer to pull within four. Following that, in the opening minutes of the fourth quarter, Desirae Hansen hit a jumper in the paint to give Portland its first lead of the game.
However, Montana responded with a quick 3 from Taylor Goligoski followed by a bucket from McKenzie Johnston. From there, the Lady Griz never trailed again and held on for the 62-55 victory.
When the two squads faced off in early January, Portland State used its inside game to score 30 points in the paint compared to Montana's 22. In Thursday's game, Montana flipped the script and won the inside game. Montana scored 26 points in the paint and held Portland State to just 12.
Montana also defended the deep ball well. In the first half, Montana held Portland to three combined 3-pointers on 3-of-11shooting. Portland State started to find its rythm in the second half as it shot 4 for 8 in the third quarter and 3 for 8 in the fourth.
As a team, Montana shot 23 for 53 from the field and 5 for 12 from beyond the arc. Portland State went 18 for 55 and 10 for 27 from 3-point range.
Montana (11-8 overall, 6-4 in conference) will host Montana State (12-6, 8-1) on Saturday at 2 p.m.