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Montana State burns Eastern Washington in double-overtime

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Posted at 11:15 PM, Jan 18, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-07 17:33:34-05

(Editor's Note: Montana State athletics release)
CHENEY, Wash. – Madeline Smith’s offensive put-back with ten-seconds remaining coupled by two Tori Martell free throws with three-second left capped a Montana State come-from-behind 89-85 double overtime victory over Eastern Washington on Saturday afternoon at Reese Court.

Montana State (10-6, 6-1) withstood a school-record 17 three-pointers by Eastern Washington (2-13, 1-5) as five Bobcats reached double-figures. The Bobcat attack was led by freshman Darian White, who had her most complete game of the season, notching a career-high 23 points while pulling down nine rebounds, dishing out seven assists and adding five steals.

EWU opened the contest on a 5-0 run, but MSU freshman Madison Jackson sandwiched two 3-pointers around a Blaire Braxton free throw to give the Bobcats a 13-8 lead. MSU held a 16-14 margin after the first 10-minutes.

Leading 26-25 in the second frame, the Eagles closed out the half on a 10-3 run which included a pair of three-pointers. Eastern Washington went six-of-eight from beyond the arc in the first 20-minutes and held a 36-28 advantage at halftime.

Eastern Washington built its largest lead at 41-30 with 8:46 remaining in the period, but Montana State was able to regain the lead behind a 12-0 run capped by a Martha Kuderer layup at the 5:03 mark. The Eagles closed out the third quarter with three consecutive triples in a span of a minute to give EWU a 58-49 cushion heading into the final stanza.

EWU held a 69-60 advantage with 6:04 left, but once again Montana State fought back closing out regulation on a 12-3 run. Smith converted the second of two free throws with 25-seconds left to force extra time.

The Eagles held the lead in the first overtime until Martell’s fastbreak three-pointer put MSU up 78-76 at the 2:33 mark. Eastern Washington’s Leya DePriest connected on two free throws with 2:13 left and neither team was able to score in the final two-minutes to push a second overtime.

MSU opened the final five-minutes taking an 83-78 lead on Jackson’s fifth 3-pointer of the contest. EWU tied the score twice down the stretch, but the Bobcats never gave up a lead as Smith and Martell closed out the win.

“Credit Eastern,” said MSU head coach Tricia Binford. “They shot lights out. It’s hard to win on the road and I’m proud of our team and the resolve they showed to come back from being down and grinding out the victory.

“I thought our third quarter was key,” Binford added. “We came out attack-minded. Our ability to get to the foul line and the second chances on the glass was the difference for us.”

Also posting double-digits for MSU were Martell 17, Jackson 15, Smith 14 and Fallyn Freije 12.

Martell, who started her second game in place of injured Oliana Squires, went five-of-ten from the field, including a four-of-nine effort from long distance.

Smith and Freije each recorded double-doubles as Smith hauled down a game-high 13 rebounds, while Freije pulled down 12 rebounds.

For the game, MSU shot 40% from the field, connected on 10 3-pointers and converted 23-32 at the line. Eastern Washington shot 45.5% from the floor, went 17-32 from long distance and was six-of-seven at the stripe. MSU dominated the glass out-rebounding EWU 51-30.

“We have defensive errors to clean up,” Binford said. “But, for now I’m proud of our effort and ability to fight back and get the win.”

Eastern Washington was led by Jenna Dick with 21 points.

The Bobcats will host Weber State on Thursday night at 7 p.m. in Worthington Arena.