MISSOULA — The Montana Lady Griz used a big comeback on Thursday to beat Weber State.
On Saturday, that was not to be as the Lady Griz fell to Idaho State 65-58 on Saturday afternoon at Dahlberg Arena in front of 2,807 fans.
Sophia Stiles led UM with 14 points on 5-for-18 shooting and the Lady Griz shot 37.9% from the field and 5 for 15 from deep and 9 for 14 from the free throw line.
Idaho State (14-8, 10-3), the reigning Big Sky champs and preseason favorites to win it all again, led `12-5 to start the first quarter, but Montana (13-6-4 Big Sky Conference) continued to chip away throughout the first half, and even led briefly in the second quarter, before heading into halftime tied 30-30 with Idaho State.
The Bengals got hot late in the third quarter, and went into the fourth quarter up 49-43 and never looked back as Montana couldn't complete the comeback.
"There's a reason why they're the defending champs," Lady Griz coach Brian Holsinger said. "This was a growing game. This is a game where we're talented enough right now to beat a team like that but we're not a good enough team yet as far as our execution and doing the right things more than them.
"We kind of regrouped and I felt like at half we got a lot of good looks. I feel like going into the second half we were going to continue to do that. We just continue to have stretches where we don't execute right and that costs you against a good team."
Sammy Fatkin added nine points for UM and Carmen Gfeller led the team with 11 rebounds and added seven points as well. The Lady Griz committed 16 turnovers and forced just 13 on ISU.
The Bengals shot 41.3% from the field and went 6 for 23 from deep.
The Lady Griz have a four-game road trip upcoming as they take on Southern Utah on Monday and play at Northern Arizona on Thursday and Portland State on Saturday. They'll take on Eastern Washington on Monday, Feb. 14.