BOZEMAN — (Editor's note: Montana State press relase)
Montana State’s Katelynn Limardo and Lindsey Hein both came off the bench to record 16 points and seven rebounds, guiding MSU to a 69-60 win over Carroll College in its season opener on Tuesday afternoon in Shroyer Gym.
Carroll College, who used the contest as an exhibition game, jumped out to an early 7-0 lead and held a 14-8 advantage with two-minutes, 48-seconds left in the first quarter. Montana State (1-0) closed out the period on a 15-0 run sparked by seven points from Hein.
MSU increased its lead to 11 points on two occasions in the second stanza, but the Saints chipped away at the margin trailing the Bobcats 33-30 at intermission.
“I’m proud of the effort we received from our bench,” said MSU head coach Tricia Binford, who opened her 17th season with the Bobcats. “It took us awhile to get locked-in and behind the play of KJ (Limardo) and Lindsey, we started channeling our energy and really got on a good run to close out the first quarter.
“However, we didn’t disrupt like we need to on the defensive end, and they got back into the game,” Binford added. “Carroll is too good of a team and they knocked down the open shots. We must be better on defense and find the open shooter. Carroll did a nice job exposing us in different situations, but I’m happy that we were able to find a way down the stretch to get the win.”
The Bobcats took their largest lead at 55-41 following a Limardo three-pointer at the 1:49 mark of the third quarter. MSU took a 57-43 cushion into the final frame. The Saints closed the margin to 59-55 as Christine Denny hit a triple at the same time Sienna Swannack was fouled. Swannack converted a pair of charity tosses to give Carroll a five-point swing. The four-point deficit was the closest Carroll would get down the stretch as MSU closed out the contest on a 10-5 run.
Limardo, a product of Silver City, N.M., connected on five-of-six from the filed with a pair of three-pointers. Hein, a freshman from Forsyth, converted six-of-nine field-goal attempts and went four-of-five from the line.
Also in double-figures for MSU was Darian White with 11. White, a preseason All-Big Sky Conference pick, also posted five rebounds, three steals and two assists.
For the game, the Bobcats shot 39.7% from the field, 38.5% from beyond the arc and 90.9% at the line. The MSU defense limited the Saints to 34% from the field, bit allowed Carroll College to connect on 11-25 from long distance.
Carroll College had three players in double-digits, led by Swannack with 16 points.
Montana State plays at Gonzaga on Thursday, Nov. 11 at 7 p.m. (MT) in Spokane, Wash.