Posted: Jan 31, 2013 10:07 PM by Q2 Sports
BOZEMAN - Montana State suffered through a scoring drought of almost 6 1/2 minutes to close the game against Eastern Washington in a 68-59 home-court loss to Eastern Washington Thursday.
The Eagles shot 47 percent for the game, including a red-hot 61 percent in the second half to overcome a nine-point deficit with 11:27 remaining.
Montana State (14-6, 8-3) took a 26-23 advantage into intermission and built the lead to nine-points in the second period following a Rachel Semansky free throw.
Eastern Washington (12-8, 8-3) responded with eight straight points, capped by an Aubrey Ashenfelter triple to pull to within 48-47 with 9:46 remaining. Montana State held the margin until the Eagles took its first lead of the second half on a Chenise Pakootas jumper with 4:12 left.
EWU out-scored MSU 10-2 down the stretch to pull into a tie with the Bobcats for second place in the Big Sky Conference- one game behind Montana, who defeated Portland State in Dahlberg Arena.
"We had a lapse in focus," said MSU head coach Tricia Binford. "We had a breakdown with our communication on screens and we ran out of energy, I thought we were impatient on offense and that showed in our inability to knock down shots."
As hot as the Eagles were, the Bobcats struggled to find the net. MSU finished the game shooting 33 percent from the field and 24 percent from three-point range.
"The thing we need to understand is how competitive the Big Sky Conference is (this season,)" Binford said. "You can't take a play off. Every game is going to be a battle and we need to come ready to fight."
Semansky led the Bobcats with 16 points, while freshman guard Lindsay Stockton came off the bench to match a career-high 12 points. The Spokane, Wash., native also added three steals.
EWU held a 40-35 edge in rebounding. The Bobcats were paced under the glass by Ashley Brumwell with eight rebounds and Semansky with seven.
Eastern Washington was led by Carrie Ojeda with 18 points and seven rebounds.
MSU will host Portland State on Saturday at 2 p.m., in Worthington Arena.