(Editor's Note: Montana State Press Release)
PORTLAND, Ore. -- Montana State sophomore Darian White narrowly missed her first career triple-double, scoring a career-high 24 points and pulling down a career-best 11 rebounds, while adding nine assists to guide the Bobcats to an 80-67 victory over Portland on Thursday afternoon in Chiles Center.
White, a product of Boise, Idaho, consistently broke a double-team, weaving her way through the full court press to set the tempo for Montana State (2-2). She notched 15 first-half points, connecting on six-of-nine from the field. Portland’s (3-3) Maddie Muhlheim’s three-pointer with 14-seconds left in the second quarter tied the contest at 32-all heading into intermission.
The Bobcats took a 49-41 advantage at the 3:42 mark of the third stanza as Tori Martell’s jumper capped a 12-0 Bobcat run. MSU’s lead, however, was short-lived, as the Pilots rattled off an 11-2 run to take a 52-51 cushion into the final frame.
Montana State held a 65-64 advantage with 5:29 left, before a Skye Lindsay jumper, coupled with Leia Beattie’s first collegiate three-pointer, ignited a Bobcat run that saw MSU outscore the Pilots 16-3 down the stretch to secure the victory. Lindsay and Beattie posted six and five points, respectively, as the Bobcats notched its first road win of the season.
“It was a great team win,” said MSU 16th-year head coach Tricia Binford. “We knew going in that Portland was going to cause a lot of problems. We watched a lot of film, but until you’re able to see it in real time and see how active and well-coached Portland is, it takes a bit to become acclimated getting into any kind of offensive flow.
“Fortunately, we have Darian White,” Binford said. “She is a tremendous ball-player. Darian handles the pressure well and with her ball-handling skills and speed is very tough to stop. She really elevated her game, and you could see the rest of the team’s confidence grow. I thought the fourth quarter was outstanding with contributions from everyone.”
Also in double-figures for MSU were Martell, Lindsay and Kola Bad Bear. Martell had just three points at intermission, but poured in 16 points in the second half, including a four-of-four effort from long distance to finish with 19 points. Lindsay and Bad Bear added 11 and 10 points, respectively.
“We challenged our posts to have two in double-figures, and they answered,” Binford said. “Tori also did a great job in the second half. Her quick trigger really gave us a spark, and we finally had some other pieces showing.”
MSU, who entered the game shooting 32.8% from the field, connected on 30-65 for 46.2%. In addition, the Bobcats went just one-of-12 from three-point range in the first half but went six-of-ten in the final 20-minutes.
The Bobcats out-rebounded the Pilots 42-33 as White and Lexi Deden – seven rebounds- controlled the glass. Montana State forced UP into twenty turnovers as White produced a game-high five steals.
Portland, who was ranked No. 21 in the week’s CollegeInsider.com Mid-Major poll, was led by Alex Fowler with 31 points and six rebounds.
MSU will host South Dakota State on Monday at 12 noon in Worthington Arena.
Following guidance from the Gallatin City-County Health Department and Montana State University health officials, Bobcat men's and women's basketball seasons will open without fans. For video streaming and radio of Monday's game visit msubobcats.com.