Women’s Basketball clinches regular season Big Sky Championship

The Bobcat Women’s Basketball Team finished their regular season at home, defending the Brick against the Idaho State University Bengals and the Weber State University Wildcats. With the two wins the Cats extended their home-game winning streak to 25 straight games, and defended last year’s regular season Big Sky Conference title. The Bobcats clinched the number one seed in the Big Sky tournament, and earned a first-round bye.

The team faced off against the Bengals in Worthington Arena on March 1. The Cats struck first, and established an early eight-point lead, 10-2, only a few minutes into the first quarter. The Bobcats did not relent, and by the end of the first quarter, held a 20-point lead over the Bengals, scoring 27 points to the Bengals’ seven.

The Bengals slowly worked away at the Bobcat’s lead, outscoring the Cats 22-14 in the second quarter and 22-13 in the third quarter. MSU held a 54-51 lead over the Bengals at the start of the fourth quarter, but precise free-throw shooting and good defense held Idaho State at bay, and the Cats took a 73-67 victory. Senior Peyton Ferris registered a double-double for the Bobcats, putting up 22 points and snagging 12 rebounds. Senior Riley Nordgaard contributed 13 points, and junior Delany Junkermier tallied 11 points while dishing out four assists.

The Weber State Wildcats came to Worthington Arena on March 3 for the Bobcats’ last home game of the season. Montana State’s first points came from Ferris with three, and the Bobcats led 7-3 just over two minutes into the first quarter. The Cats stretched out their lead to 11 points by the end of the first quarter.

The Bobcats jumped out ahead in the second half, leading 26-11 at the 8:19 mark. However, the Wildcats came back and at the end of the second quarter the Bobcats only led by 10 points, 36-26. MSU came out in the second half and started to pull away more from the Wildcats, outscoring Weber State 16-12 in the third quarter before coasting to a 72-53 victory.

Two of the Bobcat’s three seniors recorded double-doubles, with Ferris posting 22 points and 10 rebounds and Nordgaard scoring 10 points and snagging 12 rebounds. Freshman Oliana Squires added 13 points and four assists.

The Cats defeated Weber State again, 65-53, in the Conference Tournament on March 8. The will play fourth-seeded Eastern Washington University in the semifinal on March 10 at 1 p.m.