Lady Griz Basketball: Wake Forest 73, Montana 60

Wake Forest outscored Montana by 16 in the second half to rally for a 73-60 victory over the Lady Griz Saturday evening in the final game for both teams at the Cancun Challenge at the Hard Rock Resort at Riviera Maya, Mexico.

Dearica Hamby, the Demon Deacons’ 6-3 center, scored 40 points on 13-of-17 shooting as Wake Forest improved to 6-1. Montana, which was led by Maggie Rickman’s career-high 23 points, finished 1-2 at the tournament and dropped to 2-3 overall.

Montana led 31-28 at the half and still led by three, 46-43, midway through the second half, but an 8-0 run gave Wake Forest a lead it would hold the rest of the game. The Demon Deacons outscored the Lady Griz 45-29 in the second half.

“I sure thought we could have taken that one down to the wire, but we gave up way too many points in the second half,” said UM coach Robin Selvig.

Twenty-seven of Wake Forest’s second-half points came from Hamby, who went 11 for 13 from the line in the second half and was 14 of 16 for the game.

Hamby, an AP All-American and the ACC’s leading scorer and rebounder last season as a junior, entered the game averaging 21.8 points on 56.7-percent shooting.

“The big girl kicked our butts,” said Selvig. “We couldn’t change her shot, so they just threw it in there and scored it. All of them were right around the basket. She even scored it over Carly (Selvig).

“I didn’t have enough confidence in our zone to go zone, so we didn’t have a very good plan for her. It was bad coaching on that one.”

Hamby’s night overshadowed Rickman’s awaited breakout offensive game. The senior forward scored a career-high 23 points after totaling 24 through the team’s first four games.

She scored it both inside — 12 of her points came in the paint — and outside — she went 2 for 3 from 3-point range.

Maggie played great. She was feeling it and made her first couple, and all of a sudden she was a scorer. She made outside shots, she made turnarounds, she got to the hole on drives. It was nice to see,” said Selvig.

Hannah Doran added a season-high 10 points off the bench and Shanae Gilham finished with seven, but Wake Forest held Montana’s potent starting backcourt of Kellie Rubel and McCalle Feller to a total of eight points on 2-of-12 shooting.

Rubel had scored at least 10 points in Montana’s first four games.

“We got offense out of somebody we needed, but nobody else picked us up tonight,” said Selvig.

“They did a good job on Kellie. They worked her hard and did a lot of things to make it tough for her, so she didn’t get many shots. We’ve got to be able to have a chance to win when Kellie doesn’t score a lot of points.”

Rickman scored Montana’s opening eight points, but the Lady Griz trailed for most of the first half, though never by more than five.

A 3-pointer by Wake’s Taylor Gordon at the 4:37 mark would be the Demon Deacons’ final basket of the first half. A pair of free throws by Rubel, a jumper by Rickman and a 3-pointer by Gilham put Montana up 31-28 at the break.

The teams traded the lead through the first 11 minutes of the second half until a basket by Hamby, who scored almost all her field goals within an arm’s length of the rim, put Wake Forest up for good with nine minutes left.

A 3-pointer by Rickman pulled Montana within two, 53-51, with 5:35 to play, but Amber Campbell answered with the shot of the game, a 3-pointer on the Demon Deacons’ next possession to extend the lead back to five.

“Hamby’s points were one thing, but they hit a couple of big threes when they needed them when it was still really close,” Selvig said.

Back-to-back baskets by Hamby put Wake Forest up 64-54 with 1:43 remaining, and the lead remained in double figures the rest of the way as the Demon Deacons went 18 for 21 (.857) from the line in the second half, 23 for 28 (.821) for the game.

After opening the Cancun Challenge with a 67-58 victory over Charlotte on Thursday, Montana lost to Princeton and Wake Forest, allowing 80 and 73 points in the process. Both teams shot better than 44 percent.

“We’ve got to get better defensively,” said Selvig. “That’s back-to-back games when we’ve given up way too many points.”

Montana will host Wyoming (3-2) Thursday at 7 p.m. at Dahlberg Arena. The Cowgirls have dropped two of their last three, including a 77-66 setback at home on Tuesday to Idaho.



Montana Sports Information