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Montana State women's season ends with loss to Idaho in semifinals

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Posted at 11:16 PM, Mar 10, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-11 11:24:46-05

BOISE — The road ended for the Montana State women's basketball team late Wednesday night.

Four Idaho players scored in double digits as the No. 2 Vandals used a strong third quarter to pull past the third-seeded Bobcats 80-64 in the Big Sky Conference tournament semifinals in a game that started after 9 p.m.

Beyonce Bea led the Vandals with a game-high 21 points and eight rebounds while teammate Natalie Klinker, a Fairfield product, notched a double-double with 19 points and 11 rebounds. Sydney Gandy scored 17 points and Allison Kirby added 11.

The Vandals will face in-state rival No. 1 Idaho State in the championship on Friday at noon for the tournament title and a berth in the NCAA Tournament. Idaho improved to 17-6 overall.

Darian White led the Bobcats, which reached the semis after beating Sacramento State on Tuesday, scoring a team-high 15 points. Tori Martell added 14 points, including three 3-pointers. The Bobcats (17-7) connected on 22 of 63 field goals and hit 13 of 20 free throws.

Idaho converted 50% of its field goals to Montana State's 34.9%.

The Bobcats kept pace with Idaho through the first quarter as they built an 18-17 lead. MSU then expanded its lead to 38-32 heading into halftime.

But the Vandals stormed back in the third quarter, outscoring MSU 27-9 in that frame on 11-of-16 shooting to surge to a 59-47 lead at the top of the fourth.

It was the first meeting between the two programs this season after their regular-season doubleheader, scheduled to be played in Bozeman at the end of February, was canceled.