Valley City State slips past Western women

BILLINGS — The Montana Western women’s basketball team dropped a back-and-forth non-conference battle to Valley City State, 68-64, in the second day of the Rocky Mountain College Hampton Inn Classic at the Fortin Center. Stats

The Bulldogs (10-5, 0-3) faced there largest deficit with 3:01 to play in the game at 62-51 before going on a 10-0 run over the next two minutes cutting the Viking lead to just one point with 57 seconds remaining.

Senior guard Sierra Higheagle led the push as she scored eight points and nabbed two steals during the run to bring her team within striking distance. Valley City State remained calm as they knocked down 6 of 8 free throws over the final 27 seconds to put the game away.

Higheagle finished the game with 12 points, four steals, three rebounds and two assists in 29 minutes of action.

The last-ditch effort was not enough to overcome the hot-shooting from the upstart Vikings (9-5) who have now won five consecutive games, including a 64-62 defeat of No. 20 Rocky last night. In the game, Valley City State shot 47 percent (26-55) from the field and a blistering 59 percent (10-17) from behind the arc.

The Vikings were led by Georgia Williams who pumped in 19 points on 6 for 8 shooting, including a perfect 4 of 4 from downtown.

Montana Western was paced by four players to score in double-figures – Palmore scored a team-high 14 followed by Higheagle’s 12, Molly Klinker’s 12 and McCall Hasquet with 10.

Hasquet scored eight points in the first six minutes of the game as she kept the Bulldogs in the game early, she also grabbed five rebounds.

Palmore also had a game-high five assists to go with five rebounds as Kaye Bignell chipped in with five points, five rebounds and three assists.

After committing a season-low eight turnovers in the game, Montana Western forced the Vikings into 19 turnovers and turned them into 22 points.

Despite outshooting Valley City State from the free throw line, 17 to 8 in attempts, the Bulldogs were unable to convert as they made just 9 of 17 attempts in the game.

The Bulldogs will return to action on Jan. 7 as they travel to Montana Tech and open up the New Year with Frontier Conference play.

— Montana Western Sports Information

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