(EDITOR'S NOTE: MSU PRESS RELEASE)
CHENEY, Wash. -- Katelynn Limardo recorded a career-high 17 points, including a 5-of-5 effort from three-point range, to guide four Montana State players in double-figures as the Bobcats cruised to a 76-64 win over Eastern Washington on Saturday afternoon at Reese Court.
The win extends Montana State’s (13-5, 10-2) winning streak to eight games, and with Idaho’s win over Idaho State, moves the Bobcats into second place a game back of the Bengals, and a game in front of the Vandals in the loss column.
MSU plays both Idaho State and Idaho in two-game series over the course of the next two weeks.
For the second straight game, the Bobcats jumped out fast with a strong first quarter owning a 21-10 advantage in the opening 10-minutes. Kola Bad Bear and Tori Martell paced MSU with five points, apiece.
In the second stanza, Limardo took control racking up eight points, including a pair of three-pointers. Montana State held a 39-23 cushion at intermission.
“I’m really proud of how we came out again defensively,” said MSU head coach Tricia Binford. “Eastern Washington made some great adjustments, but we were able to get a good lead going into halftime.”
The Bobcats held Eastern Washington (6-13, 5-9) to 28.6% from the field in the first quarter.
Montana State built a 23-point lead with just over two minutes remaining in the third period following a basket by freshman Leia Beattie. The Bobcats took its largest lead of the second half at 26-points on three occasions, last coming off a Martel layup with 4-minutes, 32-seconds left in the contest.
Eastern Washington closed out the final frame on a 14-0 run to close the final margin to 12-points.
“I thought we had a pretty solid effort, but we were flat at times,” Binford said. “We’ve got to get better on Saturdays. We’ll certainly take a Big Sky road sweep, but we still have a lot of work to do heading into the next two weeks.”
Limardo, a freshman from Silver City, N.M., was perfect from the field connecting on 6-of-6. Also in double-digits were Martel, Darian White and Lexi Deden with 10 points, each.
Bad Bear paced MSU under the boards with a team-high seven rebounds. The Bobcats finished the game shooting 42.4% from the field, 41.7% from beyond the arc and 90.9% at the free throw line.
EWU was led by Maisie Burnham with 16 points and eight rebounds.
Montana State will play at league-leading Idaho State on Thursday, Feb. 18 in Pocatello.