Posted: Jan 26, 2013 10:09 PM by MTN Sports
POCATELLO, Idaho - The Montana State women's basketball team came out ice cold in the opening stanza, shooting just 29 percent from the field and dug a hole they would never get out of as Idaho State notched a 63-55 win over the Bobcats Saturday afternoon in front of 1,414 fans in Reed Gym.
"We struggled with their physicality," said MSU head coach Tricia Binford. "We let their defense dictate our offense. We struggled with their dribble penetration and we had a hard time knocking down shots."
Idaho State (11-8, 6-4) used a 24-7 run midway through the first half and entered intermission with a 35-25 advantage. The Bengals shot 57 percent from the field in the first 20-minutes, while limiting Montana State (14-5, 8-2) to nine-of-31 from the floor.
In the second period, the Bobcats closed the margin to 37-32 following a Kalli Durham three-point play at the 17:48 mark. However, ISU scored five unanswered points to put the game away.
"We talked after the game about the positive things," Binford said. "We still control a lot of things. We're still in first place, and we have already played at Montana, Eastern Washington and Idaho State. I like where we're at, and we'll need to use the home court to our advantage."
Montana State, who saw its eight-game Big Sky Conference winning streak snapped by the Bengals, is 5-1 on the road in league play this winter. The Bobcats will play six-of-ten games in Worthington Arena during the second half of conference action.
Against ISU, the Bobcats were led by Durham, who notched 20 points, her highest total since pouring in a career-high 23 points against Clemson in November. The Miles City native connected on seven-of-15 from the field, including three 3-pointers.
Idaho State held a 47-36 advantage under the boards. Montana State was paced by Rachel Semansky and Lexi Dawkins with five rebounds, apiece.
ISU was led by Ashleigh Vella with 22 points, including a nine-of-nine effort from the free throw line.
Montana State will host Eastern Washington on Thursday, Jan. 31 at 7 p.m. in Worthington Arena.