Game Recap

MSU women eek out win at Sac State


Montana State was the latest Big Sky Conference women’s basketball team coming off an extended break that had to shake off the rust.

Despite not playing since an 88-81 overtime win over league-leading Idaho State on February 20, the Bobcat women’s basketball team found a way to gut out a 61-57 victory at Sac State on Wednesday night.

In a game where the two teams combined to miss 91 of the 127 combined field goal attempts and 94 total rebounds were collected, the Bobcats managed to rally from a deficit that reached double figures midway through the third quarter.

Jordan Olivares, who finished with 12 points for the host Hornets, hit a shot to give Sac State a 50-45 lead with 7:42 left. To that point, a team that has just two wins this season had controlled the game, particularly the third quarter, a frame that saw the Bobcats struggle mightily to score the ball.

MSU senior Tori Martell drilled a 3-point to tie the game at 50 with 7:09 left, MSU freshman K.J. Limardo scored five points during MSU’s ensuring 12-0 run to take a 57-50 lead with 5:02 left and Montana State held on from there to move to 12-3 in Big Sky play, 15-6 overall.

“Give Sac State credit,” MSU head coach Tricia Binford said in a school press release. “They played their game. They controlled the ball, the tempo and won the hustle plays, and they controlled the boards. We weren’t taking our best shots. We took quick shots, and we didn’t have any balance inside-out.”

MSU found a way to drop Sac State to 2-17 in league play and 2-20 overall thanks to Martell’s sweet shooting. She finished with 18 points, including hitting a pair of 3-pointers (she went 4-of-13 from deep Wednesday) during the clinching spurt.

Even after that run finished, Sac State responded. The Hornets went on a 7-0 run of their own, all from Milee Enger who finished with a game-high 24 points. That burst helped the hosts tie the game at 57 with 1:48 left.

Montana State freshman forward Katelynn Limardo (11) shoots a three point shot vs. Northern Colorado in 2021/by Brooks Nuanez

Sac State would not score again. Limardo, a true freshman stretch Armstrong who finished with eight points and 11 rebounds, drilled a 3-pointer from the top of the key 15 seconds after Enger’s final bucket.

Martell, one of the league’s best shooters from the arc and the free throw line, missed a free throw in the waning seconds but hit the second freebie for the final margin thanks to MSU being able to hold the Hornets at bay for the final 19 seconds.

Martell finished 6-of-18 from the floor and missed half of her four free throws. But MSU gutted out the win thanks in large part to a 50-44 rebounding advantage thanks to Limardo’s 11 rips and an equal number of boards from reserve post Skye Lindsay. Darian White finished as the most efficient offensive player for MSU Wednesday, finishing 7-of-14 from the floor for 17 points while adding five rebounds and four assists.

Enger’s 24 points came on the strength of five made 3-pointers (in 15 attempts). Tianna Johnson, a Kalispell Flathead product, scored 11 points and grabbed 15 rebounds for Sac State.

“I’m proud that we found a way to win,” Binford said. “We had some foul trouble that caused some problems with rotations. In the second half we started crashing the glass and getting second possessions. We started sharing the ball and did a nice job inside-out.” 

MSU will play its regular-season finale on Friday at 1 p.m. MST in Sacramento.

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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