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Montana State women top Sac State, set up long-awaited matchup with Idaho

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Posted at 11:15 PM, Mar 09, 2021

BOISE, Idaho -- Montana State and Idaho will finally get their game.

The Bobcats and Vandals were slated to play in the 2020 Big Sky Conference women's basketball championship last year, but the coronavirus pandemic canceled the tournament before the game could be played. COVID-19 protocols also canceled the teams' scheduled regular-season series this season.

But third-seeded Montana State and second-seeded Idaho will meet in a semifinal game of the 2021 Big Sky Conference tournament on Wednesday night after both teams won quarterfinal matchups on Tuesday. The Bobcats defeated 11th-seeded Sacramento State 66-55 in Wednesday's night cap at Idaho Central Arena in Boise.

Tori Martell led a balanced MSU offensive attack, scoring 18 points on 5-of-16 shooting. The senior sharpshooter struggled from 3-point range, making only 2 of 10 in the game, but Martell hit a big 3 in the second half that helped MSU start to separate. Lexi Deden added 13 points off the bench, Darian White had 10 and Katelynn Limardo added nine. Deden, a Missoula native, and Ashley Van Sickle each had five steals as the Bobcats forced Sac State into 21 turnovers.

The Hornets, who advanced to the quarterfinal round with an upset win over Montana on Monday, were led by 12 points from Sarah Abney. Kalispell native Tiana Johnson had seven.

Montana State (17-6) will play Idaho (16-6) at 9 p.m. Wednesday. The Vandals defeated Northern Arizona 67-53 in Tuesday's quarterfinal round. Montana transfer Gabi Harrington had a double-double of 22 points and 13 rebounds for Idaho, which also got six points and five rebounds from Fairfield native Natalie Klinker.