The Bobcats fell to 6-1 in Big Sky Conference play when they traveled to Cheney, Washington on Thursday, Jan. 21 to compete against the Eagles of Eastern Washington before bouncing back and taking down the University of Idaho Vandals on Saturday, Jan. 23.
The Cats suffered their first Big Sky Conference loss of the season against the Eagles 81-69 at Reese Court. The Eagles came out and scored first, working their way up to a 17-12 lead over the Cats with 3:43 left in the first period. The Bobcats cut the lead to only two points by the end of the first quarter. The Bobcats scored first in the second period, tied the game at 24 apiece before the Eagles went on a 18-2 run to establish 42-26 lead with 2:49 left in the half. The Cats trailed 44-33 at the intermission.
“The difference for our defense in the second period is that we didn’t take away the penetration and offensive boards,” MSU Head Coach Tricia Binford said. Eastern Washington pulled ahead to their largest lead of the game in the third period, leading 56-37, and cruised to a 81-69 win over the Bobcats. The Bobcats were led in scoring by senior forward Jasmine Hommes, who tallied 19 points, and junior guard Peyton Ferris, who added 14 points. The Eagles were led in scoring by senior Hayley Hodgins who scored a career-high 34 points. “Hodgins had an unbelievable night,” Binford said.
The Cats traveled next to Moscow, Idaho to compete against the UI Vandals. The Cats jumped to an early 12-4 lead in the first before the Vandals battled back to make it a three point game at the end of the first period. The Cats opened the second period on with a 7-2 run, establishing an eight point lead off of a three-pointer by Hommes. The Vandals battled back, however, and at the end of the second period established a 36-32 lead over the Cats at halftime.
The Vandals scored the first five points of the third period before the Cats went on a 16-4 run to retake the lead. “We picked up our defensive pressure in the third,” Binford said. “We forced some turnovers and really got out in transition.” Heading into the fourth up by three, the Cats never led by more than five points, but hung on to defeat the Vandals 62-59. Hommes led the Bobcats in scoring, tallying 16 points and adding six rebounds. The Cats improve to 14-5 overall, 7-1 in Big Sky Conference play.
The Bobcats will take on the University of Montana at home next in the annual Brawl of the Wild on Saturday, Jan. 30 at 2 p.m. in Worthington Arena.