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Montana Lady Griz fall to No. 22 Gonzaga to wrap up nonconference play

Posted at 10:49 PM, Dec 21, 2022
and last updated 2022-12-22 01:11:18-05

SPOKANE, Wash. — The Montana Lady Griz traveled out to the McCarthy Athletic Center in Spokane, Washington, to close out their nonconference schedule and battle the No. 22 ranked Gonzaga Bulldogs.

Despite keeping it close for much of the contest, the Lady Griz fell 82-67.

After a slower start for both teams it was the Bulldogs who caught fire and jumped out to a 7-0 lead with a couple of threes to start the game before the Lady Griz woke up and got on the board with back-to-back buckets.

The Lady Griz started to find some rhythm and closed the early lead the Bulldogs had built thanks to hustle plays and tough shots in the paint to cut Gonzaga's lead down to three and make it 21-18 at the end of the first quarter.

However, Gonzaga responded swiftly and ripped off 10 straight unanswered points to start the second quarter.

The Lady Griz managed to collect themselves and overcame most of the then-13-point deficit and made it a two-possession game going into the half thanks to a buzzer-beating jumper from Libby Stump to give UM a much-needed energy boost heading into the locker room.

Montana started the second half strong offensively but couldn’t seem to find a way to slow down Gonzaga's offense that got hot in bursts throughout the game.

Despite Gonzaga’s consistent scoring, the Lady Griz capitalized on turnovers that their defense forced and turned them into points when presented with the chances to do so. This helped lead them to yet again make it a two-possession game, this time early in the fourth quarter.

Despite the resiliency of the Lady Griz throughout the game, they were unable to overcome the 3-point shooting of the Bulldogs who finished 12 of 24 from behind the arc and jumped ahead late in the game to ultimately give them the win over UM.

Guard Brynna Maxwell led Gonzaga in points with 23 while shooting 5 of 6 on 3-point attempts. Forward Yvonne Ejim led the Bulldogs in rebounds with nine and also added 15 points.

For the Lady Griz, forward Carmen Gfeller led the team in both points with 22, and rebounds with eight.

The Bulldogs shot 31 for 61 (50.8%) from the field compared to the Lady Griz who shot 27 for 69 (39.1%), and only 7 of 27 (25.9%) from three.

The win improved Gonzaga to 12-3 and bumped the Lady Griz down to 4-7.

Montana will have a short break for the holiday season and then begin Big Sky Conference play on Dec. 29 when play at Eastern Washington.