By AUSTIN SMITH
An unusually large crowd of purple-toting Knight fans staked out a corner of Dahlberg Arena Tuesday evening, only to be sent back to Helena in shame after the Lady Griz leveraged an early-season shellacking on Carroll College.
Robin Selvig’s squad came out strong and didn’t let up, outscoring the Knights 30-14 in the first period and dominating the boards through the second’s final whistle.
A fearless Katie Baker rallied her team against an extremely physical Carroll group, leading Montana in minutes-played and orders-yelled as she directed her teammates from both the bench and the hardwood.
Freshman guard Shanae Gilham and her senior counterpart, Kenzie De Boer, led the Lady Griz scoring column with nine points and one steal apiece. Gilham was an offensive threat throughout, driving the lane without hesitation for several successful step-back jumpers. Montana’s outside game was almost non-existent, the “women in white” shooting only 5-16 from the three point line.
The Knights looked mount a comeback mid-way through the second period but were ultimately out of luck, despite a run of well-aimed three pointers and penetrating defense. The second period’s score tables were a bit more balanced (42-31, Montana), but the damage was done and the Lady Griz coasted to a well-earned 72-45 victory.
Selvig and the Lady Griz will look to extend their winning streak to two games next Monday, November 5, when they host the Minot State Beavers at Dahlberg Arena. They will then travel cross-country to Philadelphia, Penn., to face the Temple Owls on November 9.
Austin Smith is a 21-year resident of the Missoula area, and an ardent fisherman, hunter, and snowboarder. When not working on the University of Montana campus, taking classes in the Journalism program, or contributing to the social media efforts of several local organizations, he enjoys spending time outdoors with his Akita and his family.