The MSU Women’s Basketball Team hosted two conference games this week at Worthington Arena in Bozeman. The first of the two were against the Idaho Vandals, who sat second in the Big Sky Conference going into the competition.
The game remained tight throughout the entire first quarter, with each team scoring an even 20 points. Going into halftime the Vandals held a 46-40 lead over the Cats. Idaho came out strong in the second half, racking up 34 points in the third quarter to the Cats’ 19. Idaho was able to extend the lead to 21 points heading into the last quarter of play. The Cats slowed down the Vandals scoring in the fourth quarter, only allowing 15 points, but it was not enough to overcome the deficit. The Cats fell to Idaho 95-77.
Senior guard Delany Junkermier lead the Cats in scoring with 17 points, including six rebounds. The Vandals shot an impressive 56.5 percent from the field in the win.
The final home game of the year was held Saturday, Feb. 17 against the Eastern Washington Eagles. It was a close game, with neither team holding a lead of more than nine points during the contest.
The Cats retained a three-point lead after the first quarter of play, but gave it up during the second, eventually causing them to trail by two points going into halftime.
MSU picked up the pace out of the half, scoring 24 points during the third quarter, putting them ahead of the Eagles by five entering the final quarter. During the fourth quarter, the Bobcats were able to hold off Eastern’s comeback efforts and win 77-74 in a fantastic game. The Cats’ win was a tremendous team effort, with four Bobcats scoring in double digits, including a double-double from senior guard Hannah Caudill.
The MSU Men’s Basketball Team was on the road this week trying to pick up some much needed wins against Idaho and Eastern Washington. The men’s team has been struggling as of late, dropping seven of their last 10 games.
On Feb. 15 the Cats took on the University of Idaho Vandals in Moscow, Idaho. The game remained tight until the very end. During the first half, each team had nearly identical stats, both shooting 45 percent from the field and pulling down nearly 20 rebounds a piece. Heading into halftime, the Bobcats held a 40-38 lead.
The Cats came out hot at the beginning of the second half, extending their lead to nine points in a little over two minutes of play. Unfortunately, MSU’s second-half shooting woes continued in this game. The Vandals went on a 20-4 run during a 4:49 stretch in the second half, and went on to win the game 78-68.
Despite the loss, junior forward Keljin Blevins had a career game for MSU, scoring an awesome 24 points and was the leading scorer for the Cats.
The Bobcats hoped to end their two-game losing streak heading into Feb. 17 in Cheney, Wash. against conference opponent Eastern Washington. Eastern just came off a win against Montana, handing the Griz their first conference loss of the season.
This game also started off close during the entire first half, with neither team holding a lead over seven points. Once again, MSU held a 40-38 point lead going into halftime after a nice run to end the half.
The second half remained close, until another poor streak by the Bobcats allowed the Eagles to gain a lead. During a 4:04 period of time, the Eagles outscored the Cats 13-4, giving Eastern an eight-point lead late in the second half. The Eagles were able to fend off the Cats’ comeback efforts to go on to win 84-79.
Junior guard Tyler Hall was the leading scorer for the Cats, racking up 22 points and six assists during the contest.
Both teams will travel to Missoula on Saturday, Feb. 24 to take on the Griz for the last time this season. The women’s team is currently tied with Montana in conference standings, and with only three games left in the season, the contest is going to be crucial for both teams. The men’s team is also hungry for a win, one that would be a big boost heading into the final week of regular season play before the Big Sky Conference Tournament March 5-10.