Western women open season with big win

DILLON — The University of Montana Western women’s basketball team opened the 2015-16 season with a convincing 84-57 victory over the University of Lethbridge Pronghorns behind the strong play of junior forward Molly Klinker. Stats

Klinker, a transfer from the University of Montana, made her Bulldog debut and pumped in 21 points, grabbed 16 rebounds and blocked two shots. Klinker started the first half on a tear, scoring 18 points and grabbing 14 rebounds. She finished the afternoon 6-9 from the field, including 3-4 from three-point territory and 6-8 from the charity stripe.

Despite trailing at the end of the first quarter, 19-18, the Bulldogs made a strong push in the second quarter, outscoring the Longhorns 22-8 in the stanza to take a 40-27 lead into the intermission.

The third quarter started the way the second ended, with Montana Western forcing turnovers and scoring in transition on their way to a 62-41 lead behind the passing of junior transfer Aniese Palmore, who dished out eight assists in her first game as a Bulldog. Palmore also scored 12 points, recorded two steals and grabbed 2 rebounds.

For the third consecutive quarter, Montana Western scored 22 points and extended their lead over their Canadian foes. Pushing their lead to 27 points in an 84-57 win.

Kaye Bignell added 10 points, Sierra Higheagle and Callie Kanthack pitched in 8 points as freshmen Brandy Bookout and Britt Cooper tallied 7 and 6 points respectively in their first collegiate games. Kanthack and Cooper also came down with four rebounds.

Sophomore Dani Baker had a good day off the bench as she scored five points, grabbed six rebounds and dished out three assists.

As a team the Bulldogs shot 45 percent from the field, knocked down eight three-pointers and tallied 16 assists to 11 turnovers. The stingy Montana Western defense held Lethbridge to a 29% field goal percentage and forced them into 15 turnovers in the contest.

Montana Western will return to action against Northwest Indian College at 6 p.m. Saturday in the Straugh Gymnasium.

— Montana Western Sports Information

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