(Editor's note: Montana State athletics releases.)
BOZEMAN — The Montana State women’s basketball team faces 11 opponents that advanced to postseason play last year, including seven programs the recorded 20-win seasons, as part of its 2023-24 schedule released by coach Tricia Binford on Friday.
“We have a bunch of quality teams from great conferences that will challenge us, and prepare us for Big Sky Conference play,” Binford said. “There’s not a free game on the schedule and we will learn a lot about ourselves very quickly.”
MSU opens its season hosting an exhibition game against Lewis-Clark State on Oct. 28. The Bobcats will also travel to Helena for an exhibition contest on Nov. 4 as part of the Saints’ celebration of 50 years of Carroll College women’s basketball.
The Bobcats host BYU in its first regular-season contest Nov. 7, which is slated as Montana State’s annual School Day game.
Following an away contest at Pac-12 opponent Arizona State, the Bobcats return to Brick Breeden Fieldhouse for a game against San Jose State on Nov. 14. MSU then plays the first of three Summit League opponents when it travels to North Dakota, Nov. 19. Following its tilt with the Fighting Hawks, the Bobcats fly to Mexico to take part in the Cancun Challenge where it faces James Madison and New Mexico on Nov. 23-24.
The Bobcats open December with road games at Portland on Dec. 2, Washington on Dec. 5, and Saint Mary’s on Dec. 8. Prior to the holiday break, MSU hosts Wyoming on Dec. 17 and North Texas on Dec. 21. Following a seven-day hiatus the Bobcats open Big Sky play at home against Idaho State on Dec. 29 and Weber State on Dec. 31.
MSU’s final non-conference contests are part of the Big Sky-Summit League Challenge. The Bobcats host North Dakota State on Jan. 3 before facing South Dakota State on Jan. 6 in Brookings, S.D.
The annual Cat-Griz games are slated for Bozeman on Jan. 20 and Missoula on Feb. 17.
The eleven opponents advancing to postseason play last winter include James Madison, Portland, South Dakota State, Sacramento State, BYU, New Mexico, Wyoming, North Dakota State, Northern Arizona, Washington and North Dakota.
MSU’s best win last year was a 71-66 decision over South Dakota State in Worthington Arena. The Jackrabbits advanced to the second-round of the NCAA tournament and went 29-6 overall and 18-0 in Summit League action. SDSU’s six losses came to MSU, No. 3 South Carolina, No. 4 Virginia Tech, No.13 UCLA, Washington State and Creighton.
“Our schedule is solid,” Binford said. “I think our fans will be happy with the high caliber teams that will be coming to the Brick Breeden Fieldhouse. Our road games will be in atmospheres that have a lot of noise which we will have to fight through. We should be well prepared for conference season.”
To see the Bobcats' full schedule, click here.
Jackson to return for fifth year
Madison Jackson, a 5-9 guard from Parma, Idaho, has announced she will return to the Montana State women’s basketball program using her COVID fifth season of eligibility.
Jackson, who married former Bobcat men’s basketball manager Brayden Hall over the summer, has played in 99 games in the Blue and Gold, including twenty-two starts going back to the 2019-20 season.
“Madison has been the heart and soul of our program over the last four years,” said Binford. “She is a true representative of our core values and we’re more than excited to have her back in a Bobcat uniform.”
“She brings us good energy on both ends of the court,” Binford added. “Last season, she was an important piece in winning the Big Sky regular season championship. She started the final 17 games and really made big strides in her game.”
Jackson averaged 5.2 points and 2.0 rebounds per game last year in 17.5 minutes of action. She shot 39.4% from the field and 90% from the free throw line. Jackson was in double-figure scoring on five occasions, including a season-best 12 points against Northern Colorado and Eastern Washington. Jackson registered a career-high 20 points and seven rebounds against Idaho State on Feb. 20, 2021.
“I chose to come back and take my fifth year due to missing the game too much,” Jackson said. “I want to thank the coaching staff and my teammates for allowing me to come out of retirement. It’s a true blessing.”