Despite loss, Bobcat women clinch share of Big Sky crown - KTVQ.com | Q2 | Continuous News Coverage | Billings, MT

Despite loss, Bobcat women clinch share of Big Sky crown

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GREELEY, Colo. -

It was bad news, good news for Montana State's basketball women Wednesday night in Colorado.

Bad news: Northern Colorado hits 13 3-pointers and handed the Bobcats an 80-73 setback to deny the MSU an outright league championship.

Good news: Montana State won a share of the Big Sky Conference regular-season title for the first time since 2003 after Eastern Washington lost at Idaho State a short time later.

Despite shooting 53.7 percent from the field and having senior forward Jasmine Hommes record a game-high 25 points, Montana State (21-7, 14-3) couldn’t overcome Northern Colorado’s (13-14, 8-9) prowess from beyond the arc and under the boards.

“Northern Colorado shoots it well in their gym,” said MSU head coach Tricia Binford. “We lost some of their kids defensively, and give them credit for knocking down the shots.”

UNC connected on 9 3-pointers in the opening half, including six in the first quarter. The Bears finished the second period on a 7-2 run and took a 36-31 advantage into intermission.

“We had too many turnovers and gave up too many offensive boards,” Binford said. “That’s the second game in a row we’ve been out-worked on the glass and that is something we need to address before Friday afternoon. We can’t give teams extra possessions.”

Northern Colorado pushed the lead to 46-36 at the 5:42 mark of the third stanza, before the Bobcats rattled off a 16-4 run to close out the quarter with a two-point advantage. Hommes and Riley Nordgaard sparked the Cat attack with eight and five points, respectively.

A Lindsay Stockton three-pointer to open the final quarter gave MSU a five-point cushion, but the Bears countered with five straight points to even the contest. The score was tied four times down the stretch before UNC went on a 7-0 run over the course a one-minute, 36-second span to take a 70-63 lead with 3:09 remaining. MSU would get no closer than five points in the final three minutes.

“I’m proud of the fight the kids showed to come back from a 10-point deficit,” Binford said. “We still have a lot to play for and we want to enter the tournament on a positive note.”

Also in double-figures for MSU were Nordgaard and Stockton with 19 and 12 points, respectively. Nordgaard connected on three 3-pointers, while Stockton dished out five assists.

UNC, who held a 37-30 advantage under the boards, was led by Kourteney Zadina with 20 points, including a five-of-11 effort from long distance.

MSU will play at North Dakota in Grand Forks on Friday at 1 p.m. (MST).

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