Montana rivals battle on the court

Both the men’s and women’s basketball teams traveled to Missoula for their second game in the Brawl of the Wild series. The women’s team looked to win the season series against University of Montana after their last victorious matchup on Jan. 20, where they won 81-64. On the other side, the men’s team came in with a vengeance after their 52-67 loss in the last matchup.

On Feb. 24 it was all about the inside scoring for the UM women’s team. Unable to keep the opposition out of the paint, the Cats were outscored 42-18 solely within the three-point boundary. It was the lack of inside presence and poor shooting by MSU, at only 35 percent, that decided the game; they were also outrebounded 48-23.

A 34-30 advantage by UM at the half turned into a 20-point lead in the second half. Montana’s Taylor Goligoski and her 11-straight points pushed the Griz over the edge prior to the start of the fourth quarter. Despite back-to-back threes by sophomore Oliana Squires to start the final quarter, the Cats would never narrow the gap past 16 points, and they ultimately fell 63-87.

With six three-pointers and a game-high 20 points, Senior Hannah Caudill broke into the top 20 on MSU’s all-time scoring chart after her 1,025 points. Beside her, Squires finished with 19 points and five three-pointers to break her cold streak of five single-digit scoring games.

Much like the women, it was a disappointing night for the men’s team. Unable to get into their groove, they were held to 30 percent shooting for the night by the opposition. With a 16-2 run by the Griz to end the half,  they carried that shooting into into the second half by hitting 11 out of their first 16 shots. Unable to keep up, the Cats were defeated 67-52.

Hopeful for a bounce-back game, the men’s team plays March 1 against Idaho State at home, whilst the women’s team will travel to Pocatello, Idaho to face Idaho State on Feb. 28.