DILLON — After a heartbreaking double-overtime loss to Lewis-Clark State last Saturday, the reigning NAIA national champion Montana Western women's basketball team found itself back in the confines of Straugh Gymnasium Wednesday night hosting seventh-seeded MSU-Northern in the quarterfinal round of the Frontier Conference playoffs.
The Bulldogs jumped out to a 14-9 first-quarter lead behind sophomore Brynley Fitzgerald's 11 points. MSU-Northern was able to turn it around in the second quarter, though, outscoring Western 18-10 to head into halftime with a slim 27-24 lead.
Whatever Western head coach Lindsay Woolley relayed to his team at halftime ended up working wonders, because the Bulldogs came out hot in the third, outscoring Northern 20-6 to take a 44-33 double-digit lead heading into the final 10 minutes of the game. From there, Western poured it on and, behind Fitzgerald's game- and career-high 24 points, the Bulldogs netted a 62-48 win to cement their spot in the semifinal round.
They will play third-seeded Lewis-Clark State at home Saturday night. Tipoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.