Lady Griz Outlast Bobcats in Overtime, 84-79


Montana State rallied back from a 17-point second-half deficit and built a five-point advantage in overtime, but Montana, behind a career-high 23 points from senior Torry Hill, ended the extra session on a 10-2 run to post an 84-79 victory over the Bobcats Monday night at Dahlberg Arena in Missoula.

It was just the fourth overtime game in the 95th meeting between the in-state rivals, and the win gives Montana (13-6, 7-3 BSC) sole possession of second place in the Big Sky Conference at the midpoint of the league schedule, behind only North Dakota.

It was the fourth straight victory for the Lady Griz and their 13th straight at home against a league opponent.

Montana State (11-8, 6-4 BSC), which was atop the league two weeks ago, lost its third straight game to drop into a four-way tie for third place with Sacramento State, Southern Utah and Idaho State.

Torry Hill. Photo by Todd Goodrich

Senior guard, Torry Hill scored a career-high 24 points. Photo by Todd Goodrich.

The Bobcats missed their first 10 shots in the game but stayed within reach throughout the first half and trailed just 30-27 at the half.

Like she did in Saturday’s win over Southern Utah, Hill, who had just three points at the half, sparked Montana with the 3-point shot, and the Lady Griz opened the second half on a 20-6 run to build what felt like a safe lead of 50-33 with 11:58 remaining.

Montana had just five turnovers in the second half, but missed free throws at key spots and the combination of Jasmine Hommes and Ausha Cole allowed Montana State to come all the way back, and the Bobcats needed every second to do it.

The Lady Griz took a six-point lead into the final minute; Hommes cut it to 64-60 with a pair of clutch free throws with 58 seconds left.

Montana went 1 for 2 from the line on its next two possessions, and Hommes hit two more free throws and connected on a 3-pointer from the top of the key to cut the lead to 66-65 with 11 seconds left.

Redshirt junior Kellie Cole had been 21 for her last 22 at the line, but her two missed chances in the final 26 seconds extended Montana State’s chances, and the Bobcats took advantage.

After getting fouled with eight seconds left, Cole went 1 for 2 to make it 67-65. Following a Montana timeout, Cole went the length of the court, got into the lane, and found Hommes, who laid it in with less than a second left.

Montana State used its momentum and 3-point shots early in the overtime by Kalli Durham and Jackie Elliott to build a 75-70 lead, but Montana held the Bobcats without a field goal the final 3:21 to stage its own rally.

Redshirt junior Carly Selvig, who had her first career double-double with 12 points and 11 rebounds, hit a pair of jumpers in the paint, and Cole’s runner in the lane with 1:27 remaining gave Montana the lead for good at 78-77.

Hill’s two free throws with 26 seconds left made it 82-79, and after Durham missed a three, Cole scored on a run-out lay-up with 13 seconds left for the game’s final points. Montana went 6 for 6 in the overtime.

“They make a nice play to tie it at the buzzer, then we spot them five in overtime. Talk about momentum turning,” UM coach Robin Selvig said. “If a team is going to fold, that’s the time to fold.

“Instead we make play after play, so I’m proud of the ladies. Oftentimes those go the other way.”

Both teams relied heavily on their starters, with eight of the ten reaching double figures. The teams’ benches scored just 31 points.

Hill, whose previous career high was 20, led Montana with 23 points and added five assists while turning it over just once. Cole added 18 points, seven rebounds and four assists, Sullivan 13 points and nine assists and Selvig her first double-double.

Hommes, who was scoreless at the half, finished with a team-high 17 points. Durham totaled 15, and Cole had 12 points and seven assists.

Ashley Brumwell, Montana State’s leading scorer entering the game at 13.8 points, had 12, but she missed 16 shots doing it.

Freshman Alycia Sims had seven points and a game-high 13 rebounds in 17 minutes off the bench for Montana, which improved to 11-1 this season when leading at the half.

“It was a great win,” Selvig said. “It would have been horrible to lose after having a decent lead, but they are awfully good, and you have to give them credit. They chipped away and made some big baskets.

“We did not shoot great from the line, and that could have hurt us, but it didn’t. We end up with a W after a good, hard-fought battle.”

Montana will open the back half of its league schedule on the road later this week with games at Portland State on Thursday and Eastern Washington on Saturday.