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
"You can't beat it," she said. "This is what Montana girls
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
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
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
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.