Montana women's basketball fans have watched coach Robin Selvig's team mature quickly over the last three days in posting a pair of Big Sky Conference wins over Weber State and Idaho State. For all the fantastic players Selvig has coached over the years, it's hard to imagine any enjoying a better start in league competition than freshman forward Katie Baker. She piled up 23 points and 17 rebounds in Monday's 63-55 win over Idaho State.
Nothing is going to come easy for the Lady Griz the way it did at times in league play the last few seasons. But Selvig's troops have shown amazing fortitude in winning four of their last five games.
Here are a few things I liked about Monday's win:
*Montana found a way to win despite shooting 34.5 percent. It never allowed its cold spells on offense to affect the way it played on defense with its 2-3 zone. That's the mark of a mentally tough team.
*A lot of players fade away when a foe employs a double-team. Not Baker, who seemed to get stronger as the game progressed.
*Montana got eight points from its bench -- a big improvement over Saturday when it got only two in a win over Weber State.
*The Lady Griz shot 50 percent (6-for-12) from 3-point range.
Here are a few things to work on for Montana
*Idaho State, like Weber State, forced Montana into potentially crucial turnovers with its fullcourt press. Handling the pressure is still a work in progress for the Lady Griz, who lack depth at point guard.
*Montana starters Sarah Ena and Shaunte Nance-Johnson turned the ball over a total of 10 times and scored just four points between them.
*Montana's reserves shot a combined 3 for 9 from the floor.