Game Recap

Lady Griz hold on for one-point win over winless Weber State


The Lady Griz have their first winning streak of the season but it took gutting out a win against the last-place Wildcats to get a third straight victory.

Montana blew a 17-point halftime lead and trailed by three points with less than two minutes to go. But Abby Anderson scored the go-ahead bucket with 1:48 to play and swatted a shot on the other end as Montana emerged with a 58-57 win at Weber State on Saturday afternoon.

The result gives Montana the weekend sweep of the Wildcats, its first three-game winning streak of the season and moves UM to 7-5 in league play. The Lady Griz sit alone in fifth place in the Big Sky Conference standings.

Weber State’s losing streak is now at 15 games, including 12 straight losses in league play. WSU has lost its league games by an average of nearly 20 points per contest. Other than a two-point loss in overtime to Southern Utah, Saturday marked the closest Weber State got to a breakthrough.

“When we lost the lead, we had every reason to sulk and we didn’t,” UM interim head coach Mike Petrino said in a press release. “We rallied together and got the job done. I’m proud of getting two road wins.”

With the game tied 15-15 after the first quarter, Montana exploded in the second, outscoring Weber State 24-7 to send the Lady Griz to the locker room with a comfortable 17-point lead.

Montana freshman guard Kyndall Keller (12) in 2021/by Brooks Nuanez

The Lady Griz had three turnovers less than three minutes into the second half, and the Wildcats hit their first four shots of the third quarter. Montana went 2 for 12 in the third quarter, 6 for 28 in the second half after shooting 43 percent to open the game. Weber State outscored Montana 23-10 in the third period to pull within four.

“The third quarter definitely hurt us. For all the good things we did in the first half, they kind of got erased in the third quarter,” Petrino said.

“We got stagnant on offense and defense. When you miss shots on offense, you stand more on defense. We let them get momentum.”

Weber State had only hit 46 3-pointers all season entering Saturday’s game. Only 10 teams in the entire nation average fewer makes per game.

The Wildcats hit three in the third quarter and opened the fourth with another. The Wildcats were within one, 49-48.

“Credit to them. They had some kids who stepped up and made plays,” Petrino said. “I don’t think our effort was consistent on defense.”

The Lady Griz started the second two of 16 and shot just 4-of-16 in the fourth quarter. When Weber State hit a 3-pointer 13 seconds later, its season-high seventh of the game, this after going 3 for 26 the previous four, to go up 56-54 with 3:07 left.

But Anderson and freshman Kyndall Keller made big plays down the stretch and Montana earned a road league victory.

Montana Lady Griz basketball team in 2021/by Brooks Nuanez

Carmen Gfeller finished with eight points and nine rebounds, her second-highest total of the season, Madi Schoening added seven points and seven rebounds.

“This team shows grit. I’m proud of how we handle adversity,” said Petrino. “We didn’t just blow a big lead. We lost the lead and fell behind. To be able to come back and close the game out, I’m proud of them for that.”

Montana will host Eastern Washington  (6-13, 5-9 BSC) on Thursday and travel to Cheney to face the Eagles on the road on Saturday.

Photos by Brooks Nuanez. All Rights Reserved.

About Colter Nuanez

Colter Nuanez is the co-founder and senior writer for Skyline Sports. After spending six years in the newspaper industry with stops at the Missoulian, the Ellensburg Daily Record and the Bozeman Daily Chronicle, the former Washington Newspaper Association Sportswriter of the Year and University of Montana Journalism School graduate ('09) has cultivated a deep passion for sports journalism during his 13-year career covering the Big Sky Conference. In August of 2014, Colter and brother Brooks merged their passions of writing and art to found Skyline Sports.

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