Western women fall in OT

DILLON — The University of Montana Western’s women’s basketball team was unable to overcome a slow start despite finishing strong against the 23rd-ranked University of Great Falls Lady Argonauts as they dropped a home conference game 84-79 in overtime. Stats

After falling behind quickly and trailing 12-4 just five minutes into the game, the Bulldogs (13-13 overall, 3-11 Frontier) outscored the No. 23 Argonauts (18-8, 9-5) the rest of the way, but it was not enough to come away with a victory.

Leading 18-12 at the end of the first quarter, Great Falls stretched their lead to as many as 11 points late in the second quarter. Montana Western did just enough to keep themselves in the game at intermission, trailing 37-28.

In the Bulldogs annual Pink Zone game – a game meant to bring awareness to the fight against breast cancer – the ‘Dawgs embraced the pink uniforms they were wearing and what they were playing for as they battled their way back into the game and took their first lead, 47-46 heading into the final frame.

After being behind for a majority of the game, Montana Western took its largest lead of the night, holding a 58-53 advantage with 5:02 remaining in regulation.

Great Falls ended regulation on a 10-5 run to force overtime after neither team was able to score a point in the final 1:08 of the game. The final bucket in the fourth quarter was a 19-foot jumper by Aniese Palmore that tied the game at 63.

After scoring the first basket of overtime, an old fashioned three-point play from Stephanie McDonagh, the Argonauts would not relinquish the lead as they escaped with a five-point hard-fought road win.

With both teams having very similar stat lines, Great Falls held a glaring advantage from the charity stripe, as they converted 24 of 28 attempts (86 percent) and the Bulldogs were just 13-23 (57 percent) for the game.

Montana Western was led by a career-high effort from redshirt freshman Frankie Bignell, who came off the bench to score a team-high 19 points. She also grabbed five rebounds and came away with two steals before fouling out in overtime.

Aniese Palmore (15), McCall Hasquet (12) and Sierra Higheagle (12) joined Bignell in double-figures in the game.

Palmore continued to stuff the stat sheet as she added eight rebounds, a game-high seven assists and two steals.

Kaye Bignell, returning back to the starting lineup after missing the last two games with an injury, just missed out on a double-double as she scored eight points and tied for a game-high 10 rebounds.

Freshman Britt Cooper also brought down 10 rebounds to go with four points, two assists and two steals.

Darby Schye and Callie Kanthack scored seven and two points respectively to round out the scoring for the Bulldogs.

The Argonauts were paced by a game-high 23 points from Morgan Grier – with 14 coming in the second half – she also grabbed six rebounds and knocked down four three-pointers.

Erin Legel had a balanced game for Great Falls as she scored 21 points, brought down seven rebounds and dished out a team-high four assists.

Stephanie McDonagh and Nneka Nnadi scored 17 points and 12 points respectively to join Grier and Legel in double-figures.

The duo were also a force on the glass as Nnadi finished with a double-double by bringing down 10 rebounds and McDonagh grabbed nine boards before fouling out.

Whitney George blocked four shots, scored four points and grabbed four rebounds.

Montana Western will look to get back on track as they travel to Lewis-Clark State and Montana Tech next week for a pair of road games.

— Montana Western Sports Information

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