BOZEMAN — After being mired in a five-game losing streak, facing Big Sky Conference-leading North Dakota was just the breath of fresh air Montana State needed as the Bobcats knocked-off UND 78-67, Thursday night in front of 1,254 fans in Worthington Arena. UND-MSU stats
“Our kids had plenty of confidence heading into the game, because they knew they could get the job done,” MSU head coach Tricia Binford said, referring to MSU’s 76-65 win over North Dakota in Grand Forks on Jan. 18. “We showed a lot of fight and I’m proud with the toughness we possessed for the entire game.”
Montana State (12-10, 7-6) sophomore Jasmine Hommes put the Bobcats on her back in the opening period, scoring 17 points on eight-of-11 from the field. MSU took the largest lead of the half at four points on a Hommes jumper at the 4:04 mark. North Dakota (16-7, 11-3) closed out the stanza on an 8-2 run to take a 33-31 advantage at intermission.
“When we played UND at their place, I think we were down by the same deficit,” Binford said. “We knew if we could get out in transition and run, we could wear them down. I thought Ausha (Cole) did a great job establishing the tempo.”
North Dakota came out of halftime scoring the first nine points to take its biggest lead of the game at 42-31 at the 17:31 mark on a layup via Mia Loyd. MSU countered with a 16-4 run sparked by 5-8 freshman Margreet Barhoum’s layup over UND’s 6-5 center Emily Evers to give the Bobcats a 47-46 lead with 13:41 remaining.
“I thought we did a great job moving the ball and getting to the rack,” Hommes said. “The plan was to keep attacking. We had great energy before, during and after the game.”
The Bobcats used a 15-6 run at the midway point of the final period and Barhoum’s three-pointer from the top of the arc at the 6:21 mark gave MSU a double-digit lead. UND never challenged down the stretch as MSU opened up a 15-point cushion on three occasions.
Hommes finished with a game-high 20 points, while senior Ashley Brumwell added 16 points- 12 coming in the second half. Junior Kalli Durham sparked MSU’s scoring runs in the second half with a pair of three-pointers to finish with 12 points as the Bobcats shot a whopping 65 percent from the field in the final twenty minutes.
Cole finished with eight points and seven assists, while Kayla DeWit and Barhoum chipped in eight and seven points, respectively, coming off the bench.
UND won the battle of the boards, out-rebounding MSU 38-30. The Bobcats were led under the glass by Brumwell with six rebounds, while DeWit and Jackie Elliott hauled down five each.
North Dakota had four players in double-figures as Evers, Madi Buck and Leah Szabla all finished with 11 points.
Montana State will host Northern Colorado on Saturday at 2 p.m.
— MSU Sports Information