Sammy Fatkin's career-high paces Montana Lady Griz past North Dakota

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Posted at 10:34 PM, Nov 18, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-19 00:34:31-05

(Editor's note: University of Montana media release)

GRAND FORKS, N.D. —The Montana women’s basketball team used a career-high 25 points from Sammy Fatkin and a boost from its bench to roll to a 72-51 victory over North Dakota on Thursday afternoon at the Betty Engelstad Sioux Center in Grand Forks.

In their first road game of the season, the Lady Griz (2-1) built a 33-29 halftime lead, then shot 47.2 percent in the second half to outscore the Fighting Hawks (0-3) 39-22 over the final 20 minutes.

The win came four days after an emotional home loss to Gonzaga.

“I was curious how we’d do after a big game at home against a good team,” said first-year coach Brian Holsinger. “It went pretty much how I expected in the first half.”

Montana was good in the first half, great in the second.

“You tell them what works, about being tougher, about executing better,” said Holsinger. “We regrouped at halftime and came out and executed how I’d hoped.”

Fatkin was fantastic in the first half, when she scored 16 of her 25 points. Montana led 18-12 after the first quarter, by four at the break.

The second half belonged to a pair of freshmen. Dani Bartsch and Haley Huard, both playing off the bench, combined for 19 points for the game on 8-of-10 shooting.

Huard connected on both of her 3-point attempts, Bartsch neared a double-double with nine points, nine rebounds, three assists, a block and a steal, all in just 12 minutes of court time.

Five of Bartsch’s nine rebounds came on the offense end, where she was in constant motion and a constant irritant to the home team, which stood and watched while Bartsch hustled.

Montana would out-rebound North Dakota by 12 and give up just five second-chance points.

All 13 players on Montana’s roster got to play in the game.

But it was Fatkin who was the headliner. Playing her first road game since November 2019, she shot 9 for 17, hit three 3-pointers, was perfect at the line and added six rebounds, four assists and three steals.

Sophia Stiles had 10 points, four rebounds, three assists and a pair of blocks, Abby Anderson scored 10 points, and Carmen Gfeller totaled eight points, 10 rebounds and three blocks.

North Dakota didn’t get much else going, particularly on the perimeter. The Fighting Hawks went 3 for 18 from the arc and were credited with just two assists while turning the ball over 18 times.

Montana had 15 assists on its 30 made field goals.