Game Recap

Limardo’s hot shooting leads MSU women to 8th straight win

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Montana State plays more freshmen than any team in the Big Sky Conference and more than most teams in the country.

Throughout MSU’s recent hot streak, rookies like Leia Beattie, Lexi Deden, Ava Ranson and Taylor Janssen have each taken their turns exploding offensively.

K.J. Limardo has been the most consistent freshman in Tricia Binford’s lineup this season. She has taken as many as six 3-pointers in a game this season. And watching the lanky, talented 6-foot-2 wing, it seemed like only a matter of time before she caught fire and had an offensive outburst of her own.

It came on Saturday in Cheney, Washington. Limardo drilled all six of her field goal attempts, including all five of her shots from beyond the arc on the way to scoring a career-high 17 points to lead Montana State to a 76-64 victory over Eastern Washington.

The victory is Montana State’s eighth straight. The reigning Big Sky Conference champions are now 10-2 in league, alone in second place.

The Bobcats are a game ahead of Idaho in the loss column and a game behind Idaho State overall after the Vandals handed the Bengals a 73-56 defeat in Moscow Saturday afternoon. The win moved Idaho to 10-3 in Big Sky play while ISU fell to 11-1.

Limardo was one of four players in double figures as the Bobcats stayed red hot entering the next two weeks, a stretch that will bring matchups against ISU and UI, respectively. Deden, senior Tori Martell and sophomore Darian White each scored 10 points for Montana State.

Montana State freshman forward Katelynn Limardo (11) in 2021/by Brooks Nuanez

For the second straight game, the Bobcats jumped out fast with a strong first quarter owning a 21-10 advantage in the opening 10-minutes. Kola Bad Bear and Martell paced MSU with five points, apiece.

In the second stanza, Limardo took control racking up eight points, including a pair of three-pointers. Montana State held a 39-23 cushion at intermission.

“I’m really proud of how we came out again defensively,” Binford said. “Eastern Washington made some great adjustments, but we were able to get a good lead going into halftime.”

Montana State built a 23-point lead with just over two minutes remaining in the third period following a basket by Beattie. The Bobcats took its largest lead of the second half at 26 points on three occasions, the last coming off a Martel layup with 4:32

Eastern Washington closed out the final frame on a 14-0 run to close the final margin to 12-points.

“I thought we had a pretty solid effort, but we were flat at times,” Binford said. “We’ve got to get better on Saturdays. We’ll certainly take a Big Sky road sweep, but we still have a lot of work to do heading into the next two weeks.”

Maisie Burnham led EWU with 16 points and eight rebounds.

Montana State will play at league-leading Idaho State on Thursday in Pocatello.

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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