BOZEMAN – Montana State wasted no time getting out to a seven-point first quarter lead and built its advantage to 28 points late in the third quarter before holding off UC Davis down the stretch for a 77-65 women's basketball victory in the season-opener for both squads Friday night in Worthington Arena.

Montana State went on a 9-1 run at the four-minute mark of the first quarter as four different Bobcats scored. MSU outscored UC Davis (0-1) in the second quarter 28-16 and took a 23-point lead on two occasions, both coming after Tori Martell baskets.

MSU held a 47-28 lead at intermission.

“I thought we jumped on the first and second quarters and were really able to get into a nice rhythm, and a lot of that was carried off our defense getting stops,” MSU coach Tricia Binford said. “We really took care of the basketball and I thought we had a lot of extra possessions on the glass. We did a nice job with our tempo and spacing and I’m super proud of how our bench came in and made a significant contribution.”

The Bobcats built their largest lead of the game at 59-31 with 4:19 remaining in the third quarter after Martell’s third 3-pointer of the game. At the 9:05 mark of the final frame the Aggies reeled off a 21-8 run to pull to within 70-62 with 2:33 remaining.

Freshman point guard Darian White hit a crucial jumper from the left elbow with two minutes left and the Bobcats cruised to the win down the stretch.

“UC Davis is a tough team and they’re not going to give up,” Binford said. “They made some plays and we got a little bit tight knocking down some shots and then the turnovers started to pop up.”

White, a product of Boise, Idaho, led the Bobcats in scoring (15), rebounding (6), assists (4) and steals (3).

“I love that she’s a quick learner,” Binford said. “She responds well and is a tough kid. It was a great debut.”

Also in double-figures for MSU were Martha Kuderer 14, Martell 13 and Oliana Squires 10. Martell came off the bench and connected on five-of-five from the field, including a three-of-three effort from long distance. The Bobcats bench outscored the Aggies 23-11.

Be the first to know

* I understand and agree that registration on or use of this site constitutes agreement to its user agreement and privacy policy.
You must be logged in to react.
Click any reaction to login.