MIAMI — Montana State junior Jackie Elliott banked in a three-pointer from the left baseline as time expired to cap a furious Bobcat rally from14-points down to force overtime against Valparaiso, Sunday in the consolation game of the FIU Thanksgiving Classic.
After the Crusaders scored the first basket of overtime, MSU rattled off a 13-1 run and hit 10-of-14 free throw attempts to post a 96-85 victory over Valparaiso. Sophomore Lindsay Stockton scored eight of her career-high 20 in the extra period, while Elliott chipped in five points as the Bobcats hit all five of their field-goal attempts.
“My initial thought was, ‘how did we do it?’ said MSU head coach Tricia Binford. “We showed a lot of perseverance and fight in the second half. We have faith in our kids to execute and I’m proud of the fight they showed in a very challenging game.”
Montana State (4-2) jumped out early taking a six-point lead on an Ashley Brumwell jumper. With the score knotted at 21-all at the seven-minute mark, Valparaiso (0-7) went on an 8-2 run, eventually taking a 32-27 lead into intermission.
The Crusaders built its largest lead at 59-45 with 9-minutes, 34-seconds left as the Bobcat front line was besieged with foul trouble.
“Our post players had a hard go,” Binford said. “I can’t remember Ashley (Brumwell) ever fouling out of a game. She had an outstanding game, despite foul trouble.”
Over the next six minutes, Montana State chewed away at the Valparaiso lead with a 19-4 run and took a one-point advantage on a Stockton layup. Down the stretch, Valpo had three, 3-point leads, before Stockton found Elliott in the corner to send the game into an extra period.
“It was an entire team effort to get us back into the game,” Binford said. “Ashley, Ausha (Cole) and Jasmine (Hommes) all fouled out, but we had a lot of different people making some tough plays.”
Brumwell finished matching her career-high of 23 points, while Stockton and Elliott 12 also reached double-digits.
MSU forced 27 Valpo turnovers, including eleven in the second half. Brumwell, Stockton and Cole sparked the second-half rally with 15, nine and eight points, respectively. Stockton also finished with a game-high seven assists.
The Bobcats held a 46-39 advantage in rebounding, as Kalli Durham led MSU with 11 rebounds. The Mile City native also chipped in nine points and added a team-best four steals.
“It was a great effort and our fight is proven,” Binford said. “However, our fouls are killing us and we need to make the adjustment sooner rather than later. We need to turn the corner with our smarts.”
MSU will go on a 13-day hiatus for finals before returning to the hardwood at Seattle on Dec. 14.
— MSU Sports Information