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Montana Lady Griz score triple-digits en route to win over Mountain West foe Utah State

Sophia Stiles and Abby Anderson.jpg
Posted at 10:41 PM, Dec 20, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-21 00:57:11-05

MISSOULA — Kyndall Keller's 3-pointer with 1:41 left in the game made history for the Montana Lady Griz on Monday night.

For just the fifth time in program history, the Lady Griz scored 100 points in a single game as Montana raced past Mountain West Conference foe Utah State 103-80 at Dahlberg Arena.

Abby Anderson scored 21 points, grabbed nine rebounds and added five blocks while Sammy Fatkin scored 20 points to lead the Lady Griz who finish non-conference play 7-2 and improve to 9-2 overall on the season.

Sophia Stiles added 19 points and nine assists for Montana. UM shot 18 for 26 in the first half, a 69.2% rate from the floor, as they raced out to a 48-33 lead. UM finished the game shooting 58.5% from the floor and 14 for 22 from deep.

"The whole week we had been working offensively trying to improve offensively and so we had been working for those kick-out threes," Anderson said. "We had practiced those shots all week and I just had a feeling that tonight was going to be good for us."

It's the first time UM has scored over 100 points since the Lady Griz scored 101 against Montana State in the Big Sky Conference tournament championship game on March 15, 2008. UM also scored 101 against Oregon on Dec. 16, 1991, per UM.

Their school record is a pair of 105-point performances, one on Feb. 3, 1990 against Weber State, and the other on Feb. 4, 2006 against Idaho State.

"It's just fun. We just love to see teammates be successful and we're just having so much fun together," Fatkin said. "Our chemistry is just fun. We're having a lot of fun and a lot of joy out there."

UM would hit a lull to start the third quarter as Utah State trimmed it to a 53-46 game with 7:13 left in the third quarter. But Fatkin scored on a layup and followed up with a 3-pointer as the Lady Griz took control again and led by double-digits the rest of the way.

"My teammates finding me in the right position was huge and then just really seeing the game," Fatkin said. "Brian's just teaching me so much about how to see the game from different perspectives. When shots start to fall, everything else opens up for different people and we're all just in the right position to knock shots down."

Keller's triple put UM in triple-digits for the first time since 2008, and Nyah Morris-Nelson added one more 3-pointer at the end to pad the mark. Montana again owned the glass as it out-rebounded Utah State 46-30 and held the Aggies to just 36.8% shooting from the floor and 9 for 27 from 3-point range.

"The thing I just told the team, the most proud (thing) of them I am is the 26 assists," Lady Griz coach Brian Holsinger said. "When you throw good passes and you find the people open, you get to shoot good percentages and so that's the biggest thing is 26 assists.

"It's like I said last game, we're learning how to read things offensively how to read defenses and I try to put them in the best spots possible but how do we read it and get it to that person in the corner and let her fly. They shot confident tonight and it makes it fun for everybody."

The Lady Griz now get a long break and will begin Big Sky play again on Dec. 30 when they hit the road and take on Idaho State.