Lady Griz Player Kellie Cole Named Big Sky Player of the Week

By JOEL CARLSON for GoGriz.com

With Montana women’s basketball coach Robin Selvig on the brink of 800 career wins, last Monday’s game against Portland called for a special performance. Kellie Cole delivered with a game that earned the redshirt junior her first Big Sky Conference Player of the Week award.

Cole matched a career high with 16 points and grabbed a career-high nine rebounds to help the Lady Griz to a 68-61 victory over the Pilots that made Selvig one of just six active NCAA Division I women’s basketball coaches — and one of just eight all-time — to reach 800 wins.

The victory kept Montana (2-0) unbeaten on the season and came against a tough Portland team that three days earlier had won by 14 points at Washington.

Kellie Cole“It wasn’t the kind of thing where you wanted to struggle to get it, then have to keep talking about it,” Selvig said about his team pursuing No. 800. “So I’m glad we got it done on the firsttry.

“The good thing about that night was we beat a quality team. With all the new kids we have playing, it was a good game for us to gain some confidence.”

Cole, who matched the career high she totaled as a redshirt freshman against Northern Arizona, scored 16 points Monday using her usual array of offensive weaponry. She combined jump shots with slinky dribble drives to the basket that resulted in runners or trips to the free throw line.

“Kellie can score in different ways,” Selvig said. “I couldn’t be happier with the way she’s playing right now.”

Cole, who averaged 5.7 points through her redshirt freshman and sophomore seasons, reached double-figure scoring in both of Montana’s exhibition games and had 10 in the Lady Griz’ season-opening win over MSU Northern on Nov. 10.

“This team is still developing, so you don’t know where the scoring is going to come from,,” Selvig added, “but Kellie is someone we’ll definitely look to to score.”

Her nine rebounds were two more than her previous career high, and she added a team-high three assists, plus a block and a steal.

Cole played all 40 minutes as Montana limited the Pilots (3-2) to 35.6 percent shooting, their lowest shooting percentage of the season through what has now been five games.

“Our older kids are leading us on the defensive end of the floor right now, and Kellie is one of our good defenders,” Selvig said. “She’s a junior with experience, so she keeps getting better on that end of the floor, and that’s what you want to have.”

Montana will play its first games away from home this week when the Lady Griz face Denver on Wednesday, then North Dakota State on Friday and either UC Irvine or Loyola Marymount on Saturday at LMU’s tournament in Los Angeles.

Montana Sports Information

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