All-Pistons Offense and Lockdown Defense as Lady Griz Advance to BSC Finals

By AUSTIN SMITH (PHOTO GALLERY)

The Lady Griz have earned a shot at the Big Sky Conference title with a resounding 74-53 win over the Sacramento State Hornets Friday afternoon.

Montana dominated the semifinal matchup, much as they have controlled the conference throughout this season, dropping 10 unanswered points before Sacramento’s Fantasia Hilliard converted a steal for an open trey.

But the Lady Griz had already seen the light in those explosive first minutes; the all-pistons offense and lockdown defense Dahlberg Arena has come to love were in full force for Montana, ending the zero-lead-change game almost before it began.

Senior Katie Baker, named conference MVP, led the Lady Griz with 17 points and eight rebounds, followed closely by Kellie Cole’s 12 and three.  Sacramento had only one player in double-digits: guard Allie Moreno had 14 points and four rebounds, but shot a dismal 5-16 from the field.

The rest of Sacramento State didn’t fare much better in the shot percentage department, as a team hitting only 28% from mid-range and grabbing a shoddy 34 rebounds in the face of Montana’s 58.

The Lady Griz will now turn their focus to tomorrow’s championship game against Northern Colorado.  During the regular season, Montana was victorious for their first matchup against the Bears but lost the second.  Colorado is heavy on the boards and, coming off a hard-fought 70-64 win over Eastern Washington University Thursday afternoon, will prove a tough contest for the Griz.

The Big Sky Conference Championship will be held Saturday, March 16, at 2:00 pm, the winner of which will earn a berth in the NCAA tourney starting March 23.

(CLICK ON PHOTOS TO ENLARGE AND USE ARROWS TO SCROLL THROUGH IMAGES)

Dahlberg Arena in Missoula, Mont., March 15th, 2013.
Dahlberg Arena in Mi...
Dahlberg Arena in Missoula, Mont., March 15th, 2013.
Dahlberg Arena in Mi...
Dahlberg Arena in Missoula, Mont., March 15th, 2013.
Dahlberg Arena in Mi...
Dahlberg Arena in Missoula, Mont., March 15th, 2013.
Dahlberg Arena in Mi...
Dahlberg Arena in Missoula, Mont., March 15th, 2013.
Dahlberg Arena in Mi...
Dahlberg Arena in Missoula, Mont., March 15th, 2013.
Dahlberg Arena in Mi...
Dahlberg Arena in Missoula, Mont., March 15th, 2013.
Dahlberg Arena in Mi...
Dahlberg Arena in Missoula, Mont., March 15th, 2013.
Dahlberg Arena in Mi...