Jan. 11, 2020 – PORTLAND, Ore. – After suffering a disappointing double overtime loss to Idaho on Thursday night – its first in Big Sky play – the Montana State women’s basketball team rebounded with a 73-62 victory over Portland State on Saturday afternoon in Viking Pavilion.
Montana State (9-6, 5-1) led from wire-to-wire as Fallyn Freije’s baseline jumper opened the scoring. The Bobcats held a 15-6 advantage after the first 10 minutes and pushed the margin to 34-21 at intermission. MSU took its largest lead at 43-22 with six minutes, 26 seconds left in the third quarter on a Martha Kuderer layup over last season’s Big Sky Tournament champions.
Portland State (8-7, 2-3) whittled the lead down to 64-55 with one-minute, 10-seconds remaining, but a Kuderer free throw followed by her third three-pointer put the game out of reach.
“I think Thursday’s game got our attention,” MSU head coach Tricia Binford in a press release. “We had good effort against Idaho, but I thought today we were very focused on what we needed to do. We established ourselves in the paint and our guards knocked down some shots. I felt our defense got after them pretty good in the first half and we showed some resiliency playing without one of our top seniors. Everyone really stepped up.”
Freshman Darian White, who struggled from the field against Idaho, finished with a game and career-high 19 points, connecting on 9-of-12 from the field. The Boise product also added six rebounds, five assists and four steals.
Martha Kuderer scored 18 and Tori Martell 13 to also finish in double figures scoring for MSU. Martell, who filled in for Oliana Squires in the starting line-up, ended the contest shooting 5-of-10 from the floor, including three 3-pointers. Kuderer went 5-of-9 from the field and connected on all three 3-point attempts.
The Bobcats held a 41-38 advantage under the glass as Blaire Braxton and Freije paced MSU with nine rebounds, apiece. The MSU defense limited PSU to 32.8 percent from the field and an icy 13.6 percent (3-22) from beyond the arc. The Vikings entered the game shooting 39.7 percent from long distance.
MSU shot 49.1 percent from the field and converted 7-of-13 from beyond the arc. The Bobcats underachieved at the free throw line shooting just 43.5 percent (10-23) for the game.
Jordan Stotler led PSU with 21 points and 11 rebounds.
Montana State will play at Eastern Washington on Saturday, Jan. 18 at 3 p.m. (MT) in Cheney.