(Editor's Note: Montana State Press Release)
BOZEMAN — Montana State’s defense held Northern Colorado to 12 first-half points and limited the Bears to 20.8% shooting from the floor as the Bobcats cruised to a 61-40 victory on Thursday night in its Big Sky Conference home opener in Worthington Arena.
“It was a great defensive effort,” said MSU head coach Tricia Binford. “Defense and winning the glass were points of emphasis this week. We learned a lot from our game at Idaho last week and we were determined to make Northern Colorado work for every shot they took.”
Montana State (9-6, 2-1) built a 15-7 lead after the opening quarter and took a 20-point advantage into intermission. The Bobcats had nine different players score in the first half. MSU also forced Northern Colorado (8-6, 1-2) into 11 turnovers which the Bobcats converted into 11 points.
The Bobcats shot 44% from the field in the second half and took its largest lead at 59-30 with 7 minutes, 6 seconds remaining on a pull-up jumper by Grace Beasley.
Montana State was led by Madison Jackson with 12 points. Jackson, a senior from Parma, Idaho, who was making her second consecutive start, connected on five-of-six from the floor, including a pair of 3-pointers. Beasley also reached double-digits with 10 points as ten-of-11 players scored.
“Jack (Madison Jackson) is really coming into her own,” Binford said. “She’s always been a very consistent player for us, but now she’s hitting some big shots.”
MSU outrebounded UNC 39-35 as Marah Dykstra and Katelynn Limardo guided the Bobcats under the glass with six and five rebounds, respectively. Senior Darian White finished with seven points and seven assists. White’s seven points moved her into fifth on MSU’s all-time scoring chart with 1,449 career points.
Northern Colorado finished the contest shooting 30.6% from the field and connected on just 25% from long distance. Junior Hannah Simental paced the Bears with a game-high 15 points.
Montana State hosts Northern Arizona on Saturday afternoon at 1 p.m. in Worthington Arena. The Lumberjacks defeated Montana 76-74 on Thursday night in Missoula.