Lady Griz run past Marymount

LOS ANGELES — The Montana women’s basketball team used an 8-0 run late in the game to take the lead, then withstood a last-second shot in the lane to hold off Loyola Marymount 49-47 Saturday afternoon in the consolation game of LMU’s DoubleTree Los Angeles Westside Thanksgiving Classic.

UM-LMU stats

The Lady Griz, who rallied from a 23-19 halftime deficit, improved to 4-1 with the win, while the Lions dropped to 1-6.

In a game that featured 11 lead changes, Montana had the all-important final one.

Trailing 43-41 with less than four minutes remaining, the Lady Griz disregarded more than 75 minutes of offensive struggles extending back to Friday’s 70-53 loss to North Dakota State and scored on four straight possessions.

Kellie Cole hit a short jumper to tie the score, Carly Selvig and Jordan Sullivan connected on back-to-back shots in the paint off assists from Torry Hill, and Maggie Rickman took an inside dish from Sullivan to put Montana up 49-43 with just 1:40 to play.

“It was perseverance is what it was,” UM coach Robin Selvig said. “It’s hard to believe we can shoot as poorly as we did the second half yesterday and almost the whole game today, but credit the ladies for hanging in there and battling.

“We were finally able to score four possessions in a row. It was just a mini-run, but it was the only run we needed.”

But Montana hadn’t secured the victory quite yet. In the final 1:12 the Lady Griz had two turnovers, twice missed the front end of one-and-ones and twice put a hard-driving Olivia Lucero on the line.

Her two free throws with 45 seconds left cut the lead to 49-47, and the Lions got the ball back with 23 seconds to play after an offensive foul on Cole cut short Montana’s next possession.

Selvig, who was the game’s difference-maker, blocked Chelsea Barnes’ potential game-tying shot in the lane with 13 seconds left. Rickman grabbed the defensive rebound and was fouled, but she missed the front-end free throw with 11.6 seconds remaining to give the Lions another opportunity to tie or win.

Hazel Ramirez got into the lane for LMU, but her forced shot was missed, and after a lengthy video review the rebound, which had gone out of bounds off a number of hands, was given to the Lions with 3.5 seconds left.

With little time to work with, the inbounder lobbed the ball inside to the fittingly named Emily Ben-Jumbo, LMU’s 6-foot-1 brute of a forward. Her contested shot rolled off the rim, and Rickman grabbed the rebound at the buzzer.

“We could have stayed up by more, but we missed free throws, and they got to the line with put-your-head-down, hope-the-refs-call-it drives,” Selvig said.

Montana’s offensive struggles — the Lady Griz shot 35.6 percent and went 2 for 19 from 3-point range — overshadowed its defensive performance. Facing a team averaging 64.0 points per game, Montana held the Lions to 29.8-percent shooting and no 3-pointers.

“Defensively we did a great job. We’re on the road against a strong, athletic team that’s capable of scoring some points, and we held them in the 40s. They hardly got anything going,” Selvig said.

“Usually you’re not going to beat somebody at their place if you don’t get more than 50, but we just battled. I’m proud of how we finished up what was a frustrating game.”

Selvig scored just two points in Friday’s loss to the Bison on 1-of-6 shooting. One day later she was the go-to player who finished with 12 points on 5-of-9 shooting. She grabbed seven rebounds and added two assists, two blocks and two steals in 29 minutes.

She was the only player to reach double figures.

“Carly, from doing nothing offensively yesterday, was huge in this one,” Selvig said. “She was composed today. She not only made baskets, she made passes.”

Hill and Rickman both scored nine points, and Sullivan added seven points and a game-high nine rebounds as Selvig played his starters for more minutes than normal. Hill, who had six assists and a pair of blocks, and Cole both played 34 minutes, Sullivan 30.

Montana’s bench, which shot 4 for 18, scored eight points and had just 13 in the two tournament games.

After getting outrebounded by 13 and allowing 21 second-chance points to NDSU on Friday, Montana finished with a 40-39 rebounding edge against the Lions and gave up only eight second-chance points.

“They got some just because they are big and strong, but we didn’t get killed on the offensive boards with putbacks like we did Friday,” Selvig said.

After falling behind 4-0 in the game’s opening minute, Montana tightened up defensively and allowed only a single field goal over the next eight minutes.

The Lady Griz went up 11-6 on a Rickman layup at the 10:54 mark and had a 13-9 lead when Rickman scored again with 9:09 left, but Montana would score just two baskets the rest of the half to fall behind 23-19 at the break.

The Lions built their lead to a game-high seven points, 29-22, early in the second half, but Hill had two fastbreak layups and Selvig scored four straight points to put the Lady Griz up 30-29.

Neither team led by more than three for a low-scoring 13-minute stretch until Montana’s 8-0 run.

Montana will host the 33rd Lady Griz Classic next weekend at Dahlberg Arena.

— Montana Sports Information



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