(Editor's Note: Montana State press release)
BROOKINGS, S.D.—Despite a strong showing in the opening 20-minutes, the Montana State women’s basketball team couldn’t overcome its second half shooting woes and South Dakota State as the Jackrabbits handed the Bobcats a 78-49 setback on Thursday night in Frost Arena.
Montana State (1-3) was looking to rebound from its two losses at Gonzaga and UNLV last weekend and for the opening quarter the Bobcats played with new-found determination. MSU led South Dakota State (2-2) 18-14 after one and trailed one of the mid major powerhouses by four- 36-32 - at intermission.
Darian White paced the Cats with 12 points in the first half as MSU shot 43.8% from the field.
“We had a great first half,” said MSU head coach Tricia Binford. “We were strong on the defensive end and glass. We got stops.
“In the second half, we let South Dakota State have too many runs,” Binford added. “We have to learn to stay away from undisciplined fouls, but I loved our collective mentality, tonight.”
SDSU opened the second half on a 12-0 run and never looked back as MSU’s attempt to rally fell behind its 18.8% shooting in the third period, and 21.1% in the final frame.
In addition, the Jackrabbits held a commanding advantage at the free throw line connecting on 18-of-24, while MSU went three-of-four.
White, who went scoreless in the final 20-minutes, was the only Bobcat to hit double figures. Ava Ranson added 8, and Leia Beattie 6.
South Dakota State held a 43-34 margin under the boards. Beattie and Madison Jackson each hauled down five rebounds for the Bobcats.
The Jackrabbits, who finished shooting 48.1% from the field, were paced by Haleigh Timmer with 12 points, leading four SDSU players in double digits.
Montana State plays at North Dakota on Saturday at 1 p.m. (MT) in the Betty Englestad Sioux Center.