Cats Unable to Build on Momentum

The Bobcats split at home this week, defeating the University of North Dakota (UND) on Thursday night, but coming up short to the University of Northern Colorado (UNC) Saturday afternoon. After falling behind in the middle of the second half against UND, the Cats stormed back to snatch a win from the conference leaders by a score of 78-67. More importantly, the victory snapped a five-game skid that dropped the Cats to the middle of the conference pack.

Sophomore forward Jasmine Hommes led the way for Montana State, scoring 20 points, and was helped with 16 points by senior forward Ashley Brumwell and 12 points from junior guard Kalli Durham. UND (16-8, 11-4) relied on an evenly spread attack, getting 11 points from Madi Buck, Leah Szabla and Emily Evers, along with 10 points from Mia Loyd. The difference in the game was the Cats’ ability to shoot the three. While UND was 2 of 9 from beyond the arc, MSU made six of 11.

The Bobcats looked to convert their momentum into another win Saturday afternoon against the UNC Bears. Unfortunately for the Bobcats, the Bears had other plans. In a large part due to a career-high game of 36 points from Stephanie Lee, UNC (13-11, 6-7) led the entire game from start to finish. “We didn’t have an answer [for Lee],” Bobcats’ head coach Tricia Binford remarked after the game.

MSU had a rough first half marred by a series of turnovers and missed opportunities, digging themselves into a 31-23 halftime deficit. The Cats mounted a strong second half comeback attempt, but were unable to complete the charge, losing 65-59. In addition to a huge game from Lee, the Bears received contributions of eight points each from Kim Lockridge and Kyleigh Hiser. The Cats were led by sophomore forward Kayla DeWit with 16 points off the bench and Durham, who had 13 including three 3-pointers. The Bobcats only managed a meager 34 percent shooting while UNC shot over 52 percent. The Cats were also dominated on the glass, only grabbing 26 rebounds to the Bears’ 48.

The loss drops the Cats back to .500 in the conference and 12-11 overall. The women will look to right the ship when they travel to Idaho State and Weber State on Feb. 20 and 22, respectively.