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Montana State falls short at Sacramento State despite Darian White's career night

Darian White
Posted at 11:23 PM, Feb 23, 2023

(Editor's Note: Montana State Press Release)

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Montana State senior Darian White recorded a team-high 26 points and moved into third on MSU’s all-time scoring list, but it wasn’t enough to overcome Sacramento State’s three-point barrage as the Hornets defeated the Bobcats 82-73 on Thursday night in The Nest.

White registered her 1,663rd career point to surpass former MSU standout and Hall of Famer Vicki Heebner Carle, who put up 1,646 career points from 1980-84. In addition, White broke a 29-year-old school record connecting on seven free throws to give the Boise, Idaho product 478 for her career, moving past Kathleen McLaughlin Howard and Cass Bauer Bilodeau (477).

Despite the career milestones, however, Montana State (19-9, 12-4 Big Sky) couldn’t stop Sacramento State (20-7, 11-5 Big Sky) from beyond the three-point line as the Hornets went 17 of 31 from long distance.

“We weren’t ready to go on the defensive end,” said MSU head coach Tricia Binford. “That’s multiple games where we haven’t been very proficient with our three-point defense and that’s something we have got to get corrected.”

Sacramento State used a 16-0 run in the second quarter to open-up a 47-30 lead at intermission. The Hornets shot 64% from the field in the first half, while the Bobcats hit for 35.7%.

MSU trailed by 23-points in the third quarter, before chipping away at the margin in the final frame. The Bobcats used a 14-0 run in the fourth quarter to close the gap to 70-62 following a three-pointer from Leia Beattie with 3 minutes, 29 seconds remaining. White sparked the Bobcats comeback with nine points.

Montana State got to within seven points with 34-seconds left but would get no closer. MSU outscored Sacramento State 43-35 in the second half.

Joining White in double-digits was Beattie, who finished with 17 points, including four 3-pointers.

The Hornets were paced by Kahlaijah Dean, who poured in 35 points and added nine rebounds and eight assists.

MSU finished the game shooting 44.6% from the field. The Hornets shot 52% from the floor, including 54.8% from beyond the arc. Sacramento State outrebounded the Bobcats 32-28. MSU was led under the glass by Kola Bad Bear with eight rebounds.

“I loved our fight in the second half,” Binford said. “We just had too many defensive mistakes pile up, and we should be better at that this time of year. We to be sharper and better communicators. We need to regroup and go get a split on this trip.”

Montana State plays at Portland State at 2 p.m. Mountain time in Viking Pavilion.