SEATTLE – Shanae Gilham had her problems finding the basket, as most of the Montana Lady Griz did Wednesday afternoon.
But left open with the game in the balance, the junior guard nailed a 3-pointer at 1:12 of overtime to cinch Montana’s 70-64 women’s basketball win over Seattle University.
Gilham was the fourth Lady Griz to reach double figures, at 11 points. Kellie Cole Rubel also had 11, including two free throws that made it 65-61 with 1:44 left at Connolly Center. Gilham’s 3-pointer on UM’s next possession made it 68-61.
Kayleigh Valley and McCalle Feller scored 16 points each to lead Montana (5-4), which picked up its third straight win.
It could have gone easier. Montana led 48-39 midway through the second half and went six minutes without scoring. The Lady Griz shot 23 for 77 (30 percent) from the field. Rubel, Gilham, Carly Selvig and Maggie Rickman combined to go 9 for 41.
“We made enough shots, but I can’t believe that we can’t shoot better,” Lady Griz coach Robin Selvig said on KGVO radio. “We had some pretty good shooters getting some good looks. We had some good threes, and air-balled them.
“It’s not like we’re going to be getting a bunch of other things easy inside. It was a struggle from the start, offensively.”
Yet the cold hands got hot at the right time. Carly Selvig’s bucket down low gave Montana the lead for good, 59-58, with 3:58 left in overtime.
Gilham fed Selvig for that basket, and found Valley for another one at the 3:14 mark to make it 61-58.
The junior out of Bozeman added two free throws with 2:24 left to make it 63-59, and after Rubel hit two more singles Montana made a couple critical plays.
First the Redhawks fed Crystal Allen down low and Selvig rejected the shot for her fifth block of the game. Seattle then left Gilham open at the arc in transition, and after a pause she nailed the shot, pushing UM’s lead to 68-61. Seattle fell to 2-8.
The Redhawks used an 11-0 run – the first eight via free throws – to take a 50-48 lead with 4:42 left in regulation, and were up 54-51 on Ross’s low-post basket at the 1:52 mark.
Rubel tied the game with a three-point play with 1:33 left. Selvig blocked two shots before regulation ended, while Montana’s Hannah Doran and Gilham missed 3-pointers.
Valley’s old-fashioned three-point play erased a 56-54 deficit to start the overtime. She was 6 of 11 from the floor and had five rebounds. Feller hit a pair of 3-pointers, while Gilham hit three.
Rickman and Hannah Doran had nine rebounds each and Selvig checked in with eight to keep Montana even on the boards. Montana had just 13 turnovers against Seattle’s pressing defense.
All good signs, though Robin Selvig couldn’t take his eyes off the less shiny part of the stat sheet.
“We get 25 offensive rebounds; we don’t convert many of those,” he said. “We’re 5 for 31 from 3.
“I wish I didn’t feel as frustrated as I do, with what we did offensively. You make some shots, and don’t struggle from that area and it’s a lot easier. But, it’s good to know you can win when you really can’t throw it in the ocean.”
Rubel, who added seven assists, and her three-point play loom bigger when you consider UM was assessed a technical foul for an incorrect scorebook. The Redhawks hit both free throws, though it was at 14:03 of the first half in a 10-10 game.
Montana has Thursday off before taking on Utah Valley at 7:30 p.m. Friday as part of the 34th Lady Griz Classic. The tournament schedule has Saint Louis and Austin Peay squaring off at 5:30 p.m., at Dahlberg Arena.
The trip back will be easier following a 2-0 road trip.
“It’s a really good win,” Selvig said. “We made it tough on ourselves. But what a nice job against the press, late. What a good win.”
Allen scored a game-high 18 points, six coming via free throws in the Redhawks' second-half surge. Taelor Ross added 15 points and nine rebounds for Seattle; Kaylee Best had 10 points and seven boards.