(Editor's Note: Montana State Athletics press release)
BOZEMAN-- Senior Fallyn Freije owned the paint and freshman Darian White took care of everything else as Montana State ran its current win streak to ten straight with a convincing 98-67 win over Portland State on Thursday night in Worthington Arena.
Freije, who finished with her fifth double-double of the season, poured in a game-high 19 points, while pulling down 11 rebounds. White ended with 18 points and nine boards. Also hitting double-digits were Madeline Smith 12 and Tori Martell 11.
Montana State (18-6, 14-1) pulled away from 17-all after the opening ten minutes with a 16-6 run to start the second frame sparked by Freije with eight points. The Bobcats entered intermission with a 42-34 advantage.
Portland State (12-14, 6-10) closed the margin to 53-48 at the 4:31 mark of the third quarter, but again, the Bobcats responded with a 13-3 run as five different players scored, including four straight from Blaire Braxton. The Bobcats held a 66-51 margin heading into the final frame.
“We played the second half with great energy,” said MSU head coach Tricia Binford. “We did not have the energy to match the intensity that we need to be about defensively in the first half. I thought we were super flat, and we were not locked in and in the second half we started to get some energy and the crowd started getting into it and we were able to breakaway.”
Montana State took its largest lead of the contest with 17-seconds left as redshirt freshman Sidney Zieske came off the bench to score the last eight points of the night, including a pair of three-pointers.
MSU shot 50% from the field, including 61.8% in the second half. The Cats also recorded 32 points in the fourth quarter matching its season-high. Montana State also did an outstanding job distributing the ball racking up a season-best 25 assists on 38 made field-goals. Oliana Squires dished out a season-high eight assists to guide the Cats.
The Bobcats controlled the boards, outrebounding the Vikings 49-33 as Martha Kuderer 5, Braxton 5 and Kola Bad Bear 5 also chipped in to clean the glass.
“I was not concerned about our offense the entire night,” Binford said. “(The offense) helped create some energy on the defensive end. When we pride ourselves on our depth, our bench, fresh legs and energy, we can really get into a flow doing those few things.”
MSU’s 10-game winning streak matches the 2010-11 squad for the second longest in school history. The 1987-88 team led by All-America honorable mention Lynne Andrew rattled off 17 consecutive victories to open its season.
Montana State will host Montana on Saturday at 2 p.m. in Worthington Arena.