9:05 PM ET, January 13, 2006
BOZEMAN (AP) -- Guards Katie Edwards and Mandy Morales scored 13 points each Friday to help Montana to a 79-54 victory over Montana State in the Big Sky Conference opener for both teams.It was the final Cat-Griz game in Bozeman for Edwards, a senior from Lewistown."You can't beat it," she said. "This is what Montana girls dream about."Morales, a freshman from Billings playing in her first Cat-Griz game, also pulled down 13 rebounds as the Grizzlies (12-2, 1-0) won their ninth game in a row.Montana coach Robin Selvig said it was just another game."I downplay this game all the time," he said. "It counts the same as every other game we play."Montana State (1-12, 0-1) struggled from the field in the first half as the Lady Griz built a 33-16 lead.Scotta Morton, coming off a career-high 28 points in MSU's only win of the season, was held scoreless in the first half."We didn't do a good enough job in the first half getting Scotta her shots in rhythm," said first-year Bobcat coach Tricia Binford. "I thought this was a step backward for us."The Bobcats took advantage of some cold shooting by the Lady Griz early in the second half to rally to within 43-33 on a Morton's third 3-pointer with 10:42 remaining."We quit scoring and they got after us pretty good," Selvig said.Montana called a time out.A layup by Johanna Closson and a 3-pointer by Sonya Rogers quickly put the Lady Griz back up 48-33. Rogers finished with 10 points.Montana continued with its 15-4 run to take a 58-37 lead on a three-point play by Laura Cote with 6:48 remaining.Montana State was ice cold in the first half, hitting only five of 30 shots from the field."We took ourselves out of the game more than they did," said MSU point guard Alyssa Nelson, who finished with 10 points. "We were getting good shots, we just couldn't knock them down.""It was ugly," Binford said. "We got ourselves in too big of a hole. We didn't come out with the aggressiveness we worked on all week.Freshman Jenny Heringer of Billings led the Bobcats with 14 points, including three 3-pointers. Morton scored all 11 of her points in the second half.Montana State was 2-of-14 from the field when UM took a 29-10 lead on a layup by Morales with 5:14 left in the first half."Our defense is definitely our strongest point," Selvig said.The Bobcats were playing without starting forward Nubia Garcia, who had arthroscopic surgery on her right knee a week earlier."I look forward to the matchup with Montana in Missoula with Nubia back in the lineup," Binford said.The rematch is set for Friday, Feb. 10.
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