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Montana State Bobcats women's basketball rolls past Northern Arizona

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Posted at 9:27 PM, Dec 30, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-31 10:58:43-05

(Editor's note: Montana State Athletics press release)

BOZEMAN -- Fallyn Freije celebrated her 23rd birthday posting her first 20-point game at Montana State, while hauling down a team-high 10 rebounds to record her second double-double of the season as the Bobcats withstood a late Northern Arizona run to register a 72-64 win over the Lumberjacks on Monday night.

Freije’s layup with 35 seconds remaining in the third quarter gave Montana State (6-5, 2-0) its largest lead of the contest at 57-40. Northern Arizona (3-8, 0-2) closed out the third frame and started the fourth quarter on a 7-0 run to whittle the lead down to 10 points with 8 minutes, 15 seconds left.

The Bobcats maintained a double-digit advantage until the Lumberjacks rattled off a 9-3 run over the next 4:17 to pull to within 64-60. Montana State’s Oliana Squires connected on a pair of free throws with 1:15 left, and converted a layup with 34 seconds remaining to secure the victory down the stretch.

“It wasn’t pretty, and we didn’t do a lot of things right, but we found a way to win,” said MSU head coach Tricia Binford. “Again, we had good contributions from everyone, and our depth played a role as we got into some foul trouble.”

MSU led 30-24 at intermission shooting 50 percent from the field, while holding NAU to 31 percent.

Also recording double-figures for the Bobcats were Darian White (15) and Squires (13). All of Squires’ points came in the second half, including three straight 3-pointers in the third quarter to spark the Bobcat offense.

White matched her season-high hitting 5 of 11 from the field and 5 of 8 from the free throw line. The freshman from Boise, Idaho also added five steals, four rebounds and two steals.

“Fallyn was solid start to finish and Oli (Squires) had a great second half playing with foul trouble,” Binford said. “Darian also gave us some big minutes. We missed some things around the rim, but I’m proud of them for grinding it out and getting another Big Sky road win.”

MSU finished the game shooting 40.3 percent from the field but went just 17-28 from the line. NAU went 35.1% from the line and connected on just 4 of 17 from long distance. The Lumberjacks held a slight 43-41 advantage under the boards.

Northern Arizona was paced by Khiarica Rasheed with a game-high 23 points.

Montana State will host Northern Colorado on Thursday night at 7 p.m. in Worthington Arena.