Sophia Stiles' career-high paces Montana Lady Griz past Idaho

Sophia Stiles and Carmen Gfeller.jpg
Posted at 10:59 PM, Feb 17, 2022

MISSOULA — Montana's Hi-Line was well represented on the basketball court at Dahlberg Arena on Thursday evening.

Senior Sophia Stiles (Malta) poured in a career-high 27 points and sophomore Kyndall Keller (Havre) added 16 off the bench as the Lady Griz held off Idaho 76-73 to snap a two-game losing skid.

Stiles, whose previous career-high was 26 points which she achieved against Southern Utah during her freshman season in 2018, added six rebounds and four assists while Carmen Gfeller added 11 points and 10 rebounds for Montana (15-8, 8-6 Big Sky Conference). Abby Anderson also added 10 points for Montana.

The Lady Griz trailed 39-38 at halftime but rallied thanks to an outburst from Keller as she scored nine of her points in the third quarter. A 3-pointer from Stiles made it 56-54 UM heading into the fourth quarter.

The two teams went back-and-forth until the end and UM led 72-71 with 22.1 seconds left while Idaho had the ball. Stiles, Anderson and Gfeller combined to stop a back-cut as Gfeller corralled a steal to prevent the Vandals attack, and Gfeller knocked down four free throws down the stretch to preserve UM's lead.

The Lady Griz shot 48.2% from the field and 7 for 22 from deep and held Idaho to just 36.2% shooting. The Vandals also went 8 for 34 from 3-point range.

The Lady Griz out-rebounded Idaho 45 to 30 but had to overcome a turnover problem, as UM finished with 15 turnovers to Idaho's four.

Louise Forsyth finished with a game-high 29 points for Idaho (6-16, 5-8). Kalispell native Tiana Johnson, who spent the previous four years at Sacramento State before transferring to UI back in the spring, finished with five points, three rebounds and one steal in 33 minutes of work before fouling out in the fourth quarter.

UM is next at Portland State on Saturday followed by a rematch with Idaho the following Monday in Moscow, Idaho.