GRAND FORKS, N.D. — Montana State used a stifling zone defense and a strong second half performance to snap North Dakota’s seven game home win streak and hand UND its first Big Sky loss of the season with a 76-65 victory, Saturday afternoon in the Betty Engelstad Sioux Center. UND-MSU stats
Montana State (10-5, 5-1) trailed by as much as nine points in the first half. In addition, MSU saw its leading scorer Ashley Brumwell pick-up three fouls in the first half. The Hamilton native went scoreless in six minutes of action.
Fortunately for Montana State, junior Jackie Elliott and sophomore Kayla DeWit picked up the slack with eight and six points, respectively. And, despite shooting an icy 30 percent in the opening stanza, the Bobcats trailed 30-27 at intermission.
“Ashley got in to early foul trouble,” said MSU head coach Tricia Binford. “I thought Jackie, and especially Kayla, really stepped-up and kept us in the game. It was important for us to be within striking distance at halftime.”
The Bobcats opened the second half with a 9-0 run and never looked back. The run was sparked by Jasmine Hommes with six points and Brumwell with a three-pointer.
North Dakota (11-5, 6-1) whittled the margin to one-point with fourteen-minutes, 34-second remaining, but the Bobcats responded with an 18-7 run to take a 56-44 lead on a Hommes layup and cruised to the win.
“Defensively, I really thought we took a big step forward,” Binford said. “We did a nice job packing it in, and the guard play on top from Kalli (Durham), Ausha (Cole), Margreet (Barhoum) and Lindsay (Stockton) really did a terrific job covering a lot of ground.”
MSU also did a nice job under the glass against North Dakota, who entered the game out-rebounding its opponents by 16 boards per game. UND finished with a slim 47-46 edge in rebounding.
“North Dakota is one of the top rebounding teams in the country,” Binford said. “We battled with them under the boards. Obviously, giving up 23 offensive rebounds isn’t what we wanted, but we neutralized their strength. In fact, we challenged our kids a halftime to be strong with the ball because UND does a good job of ripping it away.”
Elliott and Hommes paced four Bobcats in double-figures with 18 points and ten rebounds, apiece. Also in double-digits were Brumwell 14 and Durham 12. Cole finished with a game-high seven assists.
For the game, MSU shot 41 percent from the field, including 50 percent in the second half. It marked the third straight game the Bobcats have been at or over 50 percent in the final twenty minutes of the game. The Montana State defense limited UND to 32 percent shooting.
UND was led by Makailah Dyer with 20 points.
Montana State will host Weber State on Thursday night in Worthington Arena.
— MSU Sports Information