Photo Gallery: Lady Griz Beat Bears 56-43 for BSC Title

By AUSTIN SMITH (PHOTO GALLERY)

The Lady Griz are heading to the Big Dance after a 56-43 BSC Championship victory over the Northern Colorado Bears, a fairytale ending to what has been an impressive and emotional season for Montana.

But the win did not come without sacrifice: standout guard Shanae Gilham was helped off the floor with a knee injury during the first half of Saturday’s matchup, returning for the trophy ceremony with the help of crutches and a full brace.

When she hit the floor Griz Nation took a collective deep breath, afraid the loss of her unyielding offensive tempo would be the tipping point in a contested game that had four players in double-digits despite low mid-range percentage from both teams.

Kenzie De Boer led the Lady Griz with 19 points and two assists, followed by Jordan Sullivan’s 10 points and four rebounds.  With the two teams shooting below 40 percent from both mid-range and the perimeter, the trophy was won (and lost) within the stat sheet’s rebound column.

Conference MVP Katie Baker led Montana with nine of the team’s 42 total boards, helped along by the 14 combined rebounds of fellow seniors Alyssa Smith and Alexandra Hurley.  The Bears snagged 34total off the glass, but were overwhelmed by Montana’s 19 second-chance points.

Now that ‘Selvig’s Sirens’ have conquered all the BSC has to offer, the ladies will turn their attention to the national tourney beginning on March 23.  Montana has an all-time NCAA tournament record of 6-19, a poor showing they will hope to improve in what will be their 20th visit to the Dance.

All Tournament Team: Kenzie De Boer was named tournament MVP.  Joining her were Montana’s Katie Baker as well as Strange and Laren Oosdyke of Northern Colorado, Eastern Washington’s Carrie Ojeda and Sac State’s Alle Moreno.

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

Dahlberg Arena in Missoula, Mont., March 16th, 2013.
Dahlberg Arena in Mi...
Dahlberg Arena in Missoula, Mont., March 16th, 2013.
Dahlberg Arena in Mi...
Dahlberg Arena in Missoula, Mont., March 16th, 2013.
Dahlberg Arena in Mi...
Dahlberg Arena in Missoula, Mont., March 16th, 2013.
Dahlberg Arena in Mi...
Dahlberg Arena in Missoula, Mont., March 16th, 2013.
Dahlberg Arena in Mi...
Dahlberg Arena in Missoula, Mont., March 16th, 2013.
Dahlberg Arena in Mi...
Dahlberg Arena in Missoula, Mont., March 16th, 2013.
Dahlberg Arena in Mi...
Dahlberg Arena in Missoula, Mont., March 16th, 2013.
Dahlberg Arena in Mi...
Dahlberg Arena in Missoula, Mont., March 16th, 2013.
Dahlberg Arena in Mi...
Dahlberg Arena in Missoula, Mont., March 16th, 2013.
Dahlberg Arena in Mi...
Dahlberg Arena in Missoula, Mont., March 16th, 2013.
Dahlberg Arena in Mi...
Dahlberg Arena in Missoula, Mont., March 16th, 2013.
Dahlberg Arena in Mi...
Dahlberg Arena in Missoula, Mont., March 16th, 2013.
Dahlberg Arena in Mi...
Dahlberg Arena in Missoula, Mont., March 16th, 2013.
Dahlberg Arena in Mi...