Big Sky Basketball Scores & Highlights, Thursday 1/21 - KFBB.com News, Sports and Weather

Big Sky Basketball Scores & Highlights, Thursday 1/21

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Idaho hands Montana first Big Sky loss

Victor Sanders scored 27 points and Idaho handed Montana its first Big Sky Conference defeat, 63-58, Thursday night.
    
The win by the Vandals (12-7, 4-2) snapped Montana's seven-game win streak, dealt the Grizzlies (11-7, 6-1) their first home loss and left Weber State alone atop the Big Sky at 5-0. It was Idaho's first victory in Missoula since 1999. The Vandals rejoined the Big Sky last season.
    
Brandon Gfeller's long 3-pointer got the Grizzlies within two, 60-58, with 22 seconds left but Sanders made two free throws and, after Gfeller missed another 3-point try, Ty Egbert added a final point.
    
Montana led 24-22 at halftime but Idaho outscored the Grizzlies 22-5 over the first 10 minutes of the second half.
    
Sanders was 13 of 14 from the line.
    
Breunig finished with 20 points and 10 rebounds. Gfeller scored 14 points, making four 3-pointers, but they came on 12 attempts.

 

Vandals shoot their way past Lady Griz

It was a tale of two halves for Montana Thursday night at Idaho. In the first half the Lady Griz struggled to score. In the second half they couldn’t slow down the Vandals. In the end the two halves added up to a 78-61 loss.

The Lady Griz (11-7, 4-3 BSC), who lost to the Vandals (13-5, 5-1 BSC) for the first time since 2010, trailed 31-22 at the half, then gave up 47 second-half points to drop to sixth place in the Big Sky Conference standings with a game at first-place Eastern Washington (12-6, 6-0 BSC) coming up Saturday afternoon.

Kayleigh Valley had 22 points and 11 rebounds, her third career double-double, and it was Valley’s play in the first half that allowed cold-shooting Montana to be within even nine at the half. She made all six of her first-half shots while the rest of the team was going 4 for 26.

Idaho, at 32.4 percent for the half, wasn’t much better, but the Vandals, who took 15 first-half 3-pointers, chased down 11 offensive rebounds and turned those extra touches into 11 second-chance points. That hustle created the halftime lead.

“If you’re going to beat a good team at their place, you need to make shots, and you need to do the little things, and we didn’t,” said coach Robin Selvig.

“I swear it would have been about 12-12 at the half, but they had 11 offensive rebounds. They shot terribly like we did, but they tracked down all those long rebounds or they wouldn’t have had any points either.”

Montana shot 31.3 percent in the first half and trailed 31-22 at the break. The Lady Griz had just 19 first-half points in their last game, a 61-59 home loss to North Dakota.

“We did what we’ve done too many times this season. We started out not being able to make a shot. We were working hard, but nobody’s making anything,” said Selvig.

Idaho is the third most prolific 3-point shooting team in the nation, averaging more than 10 makes per game. The Vandals used the deep ball to maintain and then extend their advantage in the second half, going 8 for 15 from the arc to finish 13 for 30 for the game.

And yet Montana was within reach for most of the third quarter, until a seven-point swing in the period’s final 30 seconds changed everything.

A pair of free throws by Rachel Staudacher pulled Montana within 10, 51-41, with 41 seconds left.

Just nine seconds later Karlee Wilson scored to make it 53-41. Wilson then stripped McCalle Feller at the other end, and out of frustration and to prevent a breakaway layup, Feller reached out and grabbed Wilson.

Video review confirmed the nature of the foul, and the officials gave Idaho two free throws, which Mikayla Ferenz converted, and possession. Christina Salvatore’s 3-pointer with three seconds left, one of her five triples for the game, made it 58-41 entering the fourth quarter.

Montana would use an 8-0 run early in the final quarter to cut its deficit to 61-51, but Idaho answered right back with seven straight points of its own, and that was the game.

The Lady Griz scored 39 second-half points but gave up 47.

“We finally start making shots the second half and put together some nice runs, but then we couldn’t stop them. They hit a lot of threes, and they hit big ones when we were making our runs,” said Selvig.

“Like the North Dakota game, when we finally got going we didn’t get any stops to go along with it.”

Salvatore finished with 15 points, all coming on 3-pointers, plus 10 rebounds and four assists. Geraldine McCorkell added 16 points, Renae Mokrzycki had 10 off the bench.

The Vandals shot 37.1 percent, a low percentage for 78 points, but they converted 12 Montana turnovers into 24 points, had 16 second-chance points thanks to 17 offensive rebounds. And they hit those 13 3-pointers, second only to Florida Atlantic’s 14 in triples allowed this season by the Lady Griz.

“They’re a pretty good team, and they played really well tonight,” said Selvig. “They have a lot of weapons, and that makes them hard to guard. When the threes are going in, that makes it even tougher.”

Valley was her usual efficient self, finishing with 22 points on 9-of-15 shooting. Feller added 13 points, Alycia Sims finished with nine points and 10 rebounds. All nine of Sims’ points came in the second half.

All four home teams won Thursday night in the Big Sky. North Dakota defeated Northern Arizona 63-56, Northern Colorado beat Southern Utah 64-44, and Eastern Washington led nearly the entire way to knock Montana State from atop the league standings, 81-69.

Montana Sports Information
 

Cats Suffer First Big Sky Conference Loss

Eastern Washington senior Hayley Hodgins recorded a career-high 34 points, including a six-of-eight effort from three-point range as the Eagles notched an 81-69 win over Montana State, Thursday night in a battle between the Big Sky Conference’s two unbeaten teams.

Eastern Washington (12-6, 6-0) used a 16-2 run midway through the second quarter and established a 44-33 advantage at intermission as the Eagles shot 60 percent from the field, including 54 percent from beyond the arc.

Montana State (13-5, 6-1) senior Jasmine Hommes hit a three-pointer to open the third quarter as MSU pulled to within nine points, but EWU responded with an 11-1 run to take its largest lead of the night at 56-37 at the 5:22 mark.

The Bobcats were able to cut the deficit to 66-57 on a Hommes jumper with 6:23 remaining, but would get no closer.

“Give Eastern Washington a lot of credit,” said MSU head coach Tricia Binford. “They came out on fire and Hayley (Hodgins) had an incredible night. This is a great test for us to see how we respond, get dialed back in, and reestablish our defensive identity.”

Hommes led four Bobcats in double-figures with 19 points on eight-of-11 from the floor. Also in double-digits were Peyton Ferris 14, Lindsay Stockton 12 and Riley Nordgaard 10. Stockton dished out a team-high five assists.

MSU finished the game shooting 46 percent from the field, including 52 percent in the second half. Eastern Washington held a 38-30 advantage under the boards. The Bobcats were led under the glass by Hommes with six rebounds.

Montana State will play at Idaho on Saturday afternoon.

Montana State Sports Information

Bobcat Men get Big Win over Eastern


MSU (8-11, 2-4 BSC) picked up an important home win over EWU (9-9, 3-3 BSC) as the Bobcats fight for a first round bye in the upcoming Big Sky Conference championship. Tyler Hall led all scorers with 24 points on 7-of-15 shooting. Hall also hit three big 3-pointers for the Bobcats in the win. Marcus Colbert chipped in 23 points and eight assists for MSU.

MSU Sports Information

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