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Fourth-quarter rally lifts Montana State over Sacramento State

Montana State Bobcats vs. Northern Arizona Lumberjacks - Big Sky Conference women's basketball semifinal
Posted at 9:17 PM, Mar 03, 2021

(Editor's Note: Montana State Press Release)

SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- For three and a half quarters it was a struggle as Montana State shook off the rust from an 11-day hiatus. In the end, a 12-0 run midway through the final frame lifted the Bobcats to a 61-57 win over Sacramento State on Wednesday night in The Nest.

Trailing 48-42 one-minute into the fourth quarter, Tori Martell connected on a three-pointer. Martell’s triple 51-seconds later evened the score at 50-all, and sparked Montana State’s (15-6, 12-3) best offensive outburst of the contest as Katelynn Limardo converted a pair of free throws, before Darian White hit a pull-up jumper off her own steal. Limardo followed with a three-pointer and the Bobcats held a 57-50 advantage with 4-minutes, 52-seconds remaining.

Sacramento State (2-20, 2-17) responded with seven straight points, all from the hands of Milee Enger, to tie the game at 57-all with one-minute, 48-seconds left. Enger’s field-goal was the last of the night for the Hornets as Limardo hit a triple from the top of the key at the 1:33 mark and Martell followed with a one-of-two effort from the line to give the Bobcats the four-point victory.

“Give Sac State credit,” said MSU head coach Tricia Binford. “They played their game. They controlled the ball, the tempo and won the hustle plays, and they controlled the boards. We weren’t taking our best shots. We took quick shots, and we didn’t have any balance inside-out.”

Sacramento State jumped out early taking an 18-16 lead after the opening 10-minutes. Montana State took its first lead of the game at the 8:18 mark of the second stanza on a lay-in by Martell. The Bobcats shooting woes were evident in the second quarter connecting on just four-of-14 attempts.

With MSU leading by two in the second stanza, the Hornets went on an 8-0 run and built its largest lead of the half at seven points. Sacramento State took a 30-26 lead into intermission.

“I’m proud that we found a way to win,” Binford said. “We had some foul trouble that caused some problems with rotations. In the second half we started crashing the glass and getting second possessions. We started sharing the ball and did a nice job inside-out.”

Martell and White led the Bobcats with 18 and 17 points, respectively. Martell connected on four 3-pointers, while White added five rebounds, four assists and two steals. Limardo finished with eight points and 11 rebounds. Sophomore Skye Lindsay chipped in six points and 11 boards.

For the game, MSU shot 29.4% from the field, 25.7% (9-35) from long distance and were 12-20 at the charity stripe. The Bobcats, who were outrebounded by nine in the first half, turned things around in the second half and finished with a 50-44 advantage under the boards.

Enger finished with a game-high 24 points for the Hornets

Montana State and Sacramento State will finish the regular season on Friday at 1 p.m. (MT) in The Nest.