While many students spent their Thanksgivings at home, stuffing themselves with turkey and mashed potatoes, the MSU women’s basketball team traveled to Northridge, California for Thanksgiving to compete in the Radisson Thanksgiving Classic.
The Bobcats opened up their tournament play against the home team, Cal State Northridge (CSUN) on Nov. 28. CSUN was undefeated on the season and the Bobcats looked to take that away from them. Shooting 55 percent in the first half, the Bobcats led at the intermission with a score of 37-34. The Bobcats were led in scoring in the first half by junior forward Jasmine Hommes, who scored 12 in just the first half of the game.
“We had a terrific first half,” Bobcat Head Coach Tricia Binford said. “We learned the value of sustaining a level of energy to complete the game.”
Unfortunately, a 14-6 run by the CSUN Matadors proved to be too much for the Bobcats, and they fell 78-66. Hommes finished with 18 points and led the team with three blocked shots. Junior forward Alexa Dawkins scored 12 points for the Cats, and junior guard Lindsay Stockton dished out a team high seven assists. The Matadors were led in scoring by Ashlee Guay with a game high of 24 points. The Bobcats finished with 45.3 percent shooting, compared to CSUN’s 38.6 percent. However, the Matadors won the rebounding battle, out rebounding the Bobcats 54-40. Senior forward Jackie Elliot led the Bobcats in rebounds, snagging 11.
The Bobcats looked to redeem themselves the next day against Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI). The score fluctuated by as many as eight points in either direction throughout the first half, but was tied at the end of the first half at 35 apiece. An exciting second half ensued as IUPUI took a 53-46 lead seven minutes into the second half. The Bobcats battled back, however, and with the score tied at 66 with five minutes remaining the Bobcats went on a 6-1 run initiated by freshman guard Hannah Caudill, proceeding to hang on to that lead for the rest of the game.
“We won that game with an intense level of defense where we kept the rebounds in check and maintained being the aggressor throughout the course of the game,” Binford said. “It was our own breakthrough game on winning the hustle and effort plays.”
The Bobcats shot 49.2 percent on the game and were once again led by Hommes with 23 points. Caudill added 19 points off the bench and Stockton contributed 12 points and four assists. The IUPUI Jaguars were led in scoring by Mikale Rogers with 17 points and six assists. Hommes was named to the all-tournament team for her efforts.
The Bobcats now stand with a 3-4 record after the tournament. “I felt the team executed the scouting report extremely well, they started off with an aggressive mindset, and they executed down the stretch at our highest production level of the year,” Binford said, “I was very proud of our improvement over the week, learning from our wins and losses against very good teams who have a chance to win their own conferences.” The Bobcats face off against the University of Great Falls at home on Thursday, Dec. 4 in Worthington Arena at 7 p.m.