Game Recap

Lady Griz win at Weber State, earn 2nd straight victory

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Following a sweep at the hands of their rivals for the third year in a row, Montana might’ve had a Cat-Griz hangover last weekend in Missoula.

Against a Portland State squad that entered the weekend near the bottom of the Big Sky Conference standings, the Lady Griz lost a heartbreaker a week ago, falling 61-60 to PSU thanks to Kylie Jimenez’s runner with 2.3 seconds remaing.

But the Montana women’s basketball team did not let a three-game losing streak reach four, instead performing well in a 76-63 win two days later over the Vikings.

UM carried that momentum on the road on Thursday night, dispatching of last-place Weber State 61-46 in Ogden, Utah to win for the second time in a row and move to 6-5 in Big Sky Conference play.

Montana head coach Mike Petrino reduced the minutes of several of his primary rotation players, including leading scorer Carmen Gfeller, who played 20 minutes against the only remaining team in the Big Sky without a conference victory.

And while one of the league’s top offensive weapons finished with just two points, Montana’s bench helped the Lady Griz end the evening alone in fifth place in the Big Sky standings.

Kylie Frohlich scored 14 points and Kyndall Keller, Jordyn Schweyen and Nyah Morris combined for 14 more as Montana pulled away in the second half for a road victory.

“Big minutes and big production. A shout-out to our bench. I thought they did really well,” said Petrino, whose starters were 12 for 37.

Gfeller, who also leads the league in field goal shooting, struggled with both fouls and to find good looks. But Frolich, a local product out of Missoula Sentinel, stepped up. She hit six of her nine field goal attempts while also chipping in five rebounds and four assists during a career-high 29 minutes. She has scored 44 points over the last three games while shooting 19-of-26 from the floor.

“Kylie played fantastic again. Her energy and what she does out there was really positive for us,” Petrino said. “She’s shooting the ball really well right now.”

Montana led just 24-23 at the half but went 14 for 27 (.519) in the second to pull away. The key was an 11-0 run in the third quarter that turned a 27-26 Weber State lead into a 37-27 Montana advantage.

Frolich spurred one the game-separating rally by scoring eight points, including connecting on her first career 3-pointer. Although Montana went 4-of-15 from beyond the arc, UM hit three of its five attempts from deep in the third quarter to earn the separation it needed.

“We played kind of sluggish and got outhustled at the beginning. Credit to them. They played really hard. They have good size but I didn’t think we were very aggressive or finished strong,” Petrino said.

“We faced some adversity tonight, but we made some adjustments as the game went on that really worked.  We learned and grew tonight. We just want to keep getting better.”

Montana will look for its third straight win overall with a rematch at Weber State on Saturday, tip at noon.

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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