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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.

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