Montana 62

(18-14, 10-6 Big Sky)

Portland State 58

(20-11, 12-4 Big Sky)

    5:00 PM ET, March 12, 2011

    1 2 T
    MONT 31 3162
    PRST 30 2858

    Top Performers

    Montana: K. Boer 11 Pts, 3 Reb, 3 Ast, 2 Stl

    Portland State: E. Jones 19 Pts, 3 Reb, 3 Ast, 2 Stl, 1 Blk

    Montana earns third NCAA tourney trip in four years

    Associated Press

    PORTLAND, Ore. -- Stephanie Stender and Kenzie De Boer each scored 11 points to lead Montana to a 62-58 win over Portland State on Saturday in the championship game of the Big Sky Conference tournament.

    Stender was named the tournament's MVP.

    "It wasn't necessarily me playing my best game," Stender said. "It was the team. It was the best time when we all played better. As a team, we were playing our best basketball. Everyone knew their role. We did it. We did what we were supposed to do, filled our roles and did what we needed to do."

    Sarah Ena added 10 points, including a pair of late free throws, as the fourth-seeded Lady Griz (18-14) earned their third trip to the NCAA tournament in four years.

    "You just think about how much you love your teammates, coaches and program," Ena said. "It just gives you that push and extra composure when you need to hit those down the stretch."

    Montana held Portland State scoreless over a 6½-minute stretch late in the second half and forced the Vikings into 5-for-22 shooting from 3-point range.

    "Our team played awesome defense and we knew we needed to play defense and not allow any easy shots, especially on transition," De Boer said. "We did an awesome job of communication and knowing where the shooters were. It was a total team effort on defense."

    Portland State was ahead 52-46 with just over eight minutes to play but missed its next nine shots and didn't score again until 1:32 remained.

    "They came to this tournament to play and they showed a lot of heart and grit," Portland State coach Sherri Murrell said. "I have to commend them. We did it last year doing three games and it's not easy."

    Eryn Jones scored 19 points and Kelli Valentine added 14 for the top-seeded Vikings (20-11), who snapped an 11-game home win streak and lost for the first time this season against a conference opponent.

    "It's just tough," said Jones. "I just really thought we had that one."

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 62 58
    FG Made-Attempted 21-56 (.375) 21-55 (.382)
    3P Made-Attempted 5-11 (.455) 5-27 (.185)
    FT Made-Attempted 15-20 (.750) 11-14 (.786)
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 14 (0/0) 18 (0/0)
    Largest Lead 8 6

    Game Leaders

    PointsK. Boer 11E. Jones 19
    ReboundsS. Stender 6K. Valentine 10
    AssistsK. Boer 3K. Valentine 5
    StealsS. Stender 4E. Jones 2
    BlocksK. Baker 1E. Jones 1

    2010-11 Season

    Feb 24, 2011 PRST 70, @MONT 65Recap | Box Score
    Mar 3, 2011 @PRST 53, MONT 47Recap | Box Score
    » Mar 12, 2011 MONT 62, @PRST 58Recap | Box Score