7:05 PM ET, January 11, 2007
BOZEMAN, Mont. (AP) -- Mandy Morales led five Montana players in double figures with 20 points, six assists, four rebounds and four steals Thursday in an 86-67 victory over Montana State.Montana (15-1, 3-0 Big Sky) extended its winning streak to 12 games and won its seventh consecutive game over the Bobcats.Johanna Closson added 17 points, including 3-of-5 from 3-point range, and nine rebounds for the Lady Griz, who outrebounded MSU 43-35."I think once someone makes a shot it kind of goes throughout the team," Closson said. "When you see someone make a shot it gets your confidence up and you're ready to go, too. Like any team, sometimes they break down and we spotted up for open shots."Montana State (6-9, 1-2) used pressure defense to try to stymie Montana and freshman guard Erica Perry forced Morales into a season-high seven turnovers."I'm proud of the way Erica played," said MSU coach Tricia Binford. "She showed some determination and pride."Morales said: "Every team is going to put the full-court ball pressure on us, and we knew that MSU was a big running team. We were ready for them."The teams traded baskets for the first four minutes before Montana began to pull away. The Bobcats at times struggled to make inside shots."It was a combination of Montana hitting their shots and us not contesting some shots," Binford said. "Montana doesn't make too many mistakes and we showed some inconsistencies."The Lady Griz shot 63 percent from the field in the first half and built a 30-17 lead on two free throws by Sonya Rogers midway through the first half. MSU went on an 8-2 run to pull to 32-25 on a 3-pointer by Erin Goodman.The Lady Griz hit back-to-back baskets to go up 36-25 with 5 minutes left in the half and held a 50-38 halftime lead.Closson hit a 3-pointer right after halftime to put Montana up 53-38 and the Lady Griz built as much as a 83-55 lead on a basket by Laura Cote with four minutes remaining.Britney Lohman of Bozeman added 15 points for the Lady Griz while Tamara Guardipee finished with 13 points, seven rebounds and three blocked shots. Sonya Rogers added 10 points.Krislyn Wallace led MSU with 13 points, but fouled out midway through the second half. Rebecca Mercer, who averages 12 points per game for the Bobcats, was held scoreless.Selvig, whose teams traditionally have been among the best in the nation in points allowed, are now among the top scoring teams."I don't like giving up 67 points tonight," Selvig said. "It's not like we shut them out."