SACRAMENTO — For thirty-three minutes the Montana State women’s basketball team played point-for-point with one of the top scoring teams in the nation, before giving up a 16-4 run down the stretch as Sacramento State posted a 107-95 victory over the Bobcats, Thursday night in the Big Sky opener for both squads.
“We’re disappointed,” said MSU head coach Tricia Binford. “We prepared well and were ready. I thought we had a solid first half. However, in the second half it came down to a matter of fundamentals. It wasn’t just one thing, but a collection of the little things – a missed free throw, giving up an offensive board, allowing penetration, not taking care of the ball.”
Montana State (5-5, 0-1) got off to a quick start and held a 31-21 advantage on a Jackie Elliott three-pointer at the midway mark of the opening period. Sacramento State (9-1, 1-0) chipped away at the margin and trailed 51-50 at intermission.
Leading 81-77 with six-minutes, 56-seconds remaining, the Hornets went on a 16-4 run, including three treys to but the game out of reach.
“We’re capable of a lot more,” Binford said. “We’ll regroup and come out ready for Northern Arizona on Saturday.
Elliott, a junior from Billings, paced MSU with a career-high 25 points on 10-of-15 from the field. She also posted five assists and hauled down four rebounds.
Also in double-digits for the Bobcats were Ashley Brumwell 19 and Jasmine Hommes 15.
Despite falling by a 12-point margin, Montana State shot a season-best 55 percent from three-point range and had its second best shooting performance of the season hitting 51 percent from the field.
The Bobcats committed a season-high 24 turnovers, which culminated in 25 Sacramento State points.
The Hornets had three players with 20 or more points, led by Fantasia Hilliard 26, Shanti Smith 24, and Alle Moreno 24.
MSU will play at Northern Arizona on Saturday at 6:30 p.m.
— MSU Sports Information