The women’s basketball team competed in the 98th annual Brawl of the Wild against the University of Montana Grizzlies on Saturday, Jan. 17. Despite an early lead, the Bobcats fell to the Lady Griz 62-48.
The Bobcats quieted the rowdy Grizzly crowd as the team jumped out to a 8-0 lead in the first few minutes of play at Dahlberg Arena. “We were fired up to play,” sophomore Peyton Ferris said. “It was awesome to silence the crowd for a while. We were ready to go and getting out to a start like that was great.”
Following a Missoula timeout, the Lady Griz finally got on the board with a Shanae Gilham 3-pointer. The Griz quickly got rolling however, going on a 12-6 run to take their first lead of the game, 15-14 with 9:38 left in the half. The lead changed hands two more times before Missoula took a 29-23 lead at half.
Four minutes into the second half and down by four points, Hannah Caudill hit her first three to spark a 12-0 Bobcat run. As a result, the Bobcats took a 41-33 lead with 12:25 left to play in the game. “We really came out at halftime well,” Head Coach Trish Binford said. The Lady Griz were not finished, however, and with 10:47 left in the game went on a 10-0 run to regain the lead 45-43. The Bobcats fell into a cold spell in the last minutes of the game and fell to the Lady Griz 62-48.
“We just had too long of dry spells offensively to finish the game,” Binford said. “I’m really proud of our team’s effort and looking to clean up some of our turnovers to be able to finish these close games.” The Bobcats were led by a career performance from Ferris, who finished with 20 points, two blocks and a steal. “Peyton Ferris had a terrific game,” Binford said.
Freshman guard Hannah Caudill also finished with eight points and two steals for the Bobcats. The Lady Griz were led in scoring by Kayleigh Valley and Kellie Rubel with 12 points apiece. MSU finished with 29 percent shooting and snagged 42 rebounds. Montana finished with 32 percent shooting and 45 total boards. The Bobcats are now 7-9 overall and 1-4 in conference play. They will face the Montana Grizzlies again on March 7 at home for part two of the Brawl of the Wild. “We have lots of season left with a very talented team,” Binford said. “I really believe in these young ladies and we will look to build upon this game.”