Lady Griz Outlasts Seattle 70-64 in Overtime


Coming off a signature win on Sunday at Portland, the Montana women’s basketball team made it a two-game road sweep with a 70-64 overtime victory at Seattle Wednesday afternoon. But nobody will want to sign the corner of this one.

The Lady Griz (5-4) shot 29.9 percent and scored just a single field goal the final 10 minutes of regulation, but they outworked the Redhawks on the boards and turned the ball over just 13 times against unceasing full-court pressure to win their third straight game.

It wasn’t pretty, but in the end it was a win in the first matchup between the teams since 1985-86.

“It was just a real struggle. It was one of those games where nobody wanted to win,” said UM coach Robin Selvig. “We made enough shots, but I can’t believe we can’t shoot better than that. We had some pretty good shooters getting some good looks, so maybe it was contagious.”

After building a 48-39 lead midway through the second half, Montana, which led 30-27 at the break, went six-plus minutes without scoring. That drought allowed Seattle to go on an 11-0 run, with nine of those points coming at the free throw line, and not just claw their way back in it but take the lead.

With Montana trailing 54-51 and less than two minutes remaining, and with her team without a field goal since the 10:15 mark, Kellie Rubel made a redshirt senior play to keep the Lady Griz alive. Her strong drive to the basket was good, and she converted the free throw with 1:33 to play to tie it at 54.

Both teams had chances to retake the lead in regulation. Neither did. After Seattle turned the ball over in the backcourt in the final seconds, the final opportunity was Montana’s, but Shanae Gilham’s rushed but decent look from the right corner missed.

Picture18“I think there were seven or eight times toward the end that I thought, if that goes, we got it. But they never went,” said Selvig.

Montana mostly controlled overtime, but nobody on the Lady Griz bench was able to relax until Gilham, ignoring the team’s 4-for-30 performance from 3-point range to that point, calmly stroked one from the right wing to make it 68-61 with just over a minute left. Ball game.

“It was a really good win, but we made it tough on ourselves,” said Selvig. “It was just a struggle from the start offensively, and I think most of them were good shots.”

It was the second time this season Montana shot less than 30 percent — the other came in an 80-55 loss to Princeton — but there were enough good things to overcome it.

The Lady Griz outrebounded the Redhawks 58-48 and had just 13 turnovers in 45 minutes. Twenty-five of those rebounds were on the offensive end, a season high, and those extra touches allowed Montana to take a season-high 77 shots. That it missed 54 of them turned out to be immaterial.

“Besides our shooting, I thought we played pretty well,” said Selvig. “We beat them on the boards pretty bad, though we didn’t convert many of those, and they pressed us the whole game and we didn’t turn it over much.”

Valley, who at 6-of-11 was the only player to shoot 50 percent or better for Montana, scored 16 points, six in overtime and one off her career high. McCalle Feller also scored 16 points, a career high, with 14 coming in the first half.

Rubel finished with 11 points, seven assists and six rebounds. Gilham, who hit three of Montana’s five 3-pointers, added a season-high 11 off the bench. Carly Selvig had five blocks, giving her 20 over the last four games, and Hannah Doran grabbed a career-high nine rebounds.

Montana shot just 27.4 percent in the first half, but the Lady Griz, behind Feller’s hot hand, still managed to hold the lead the final eight minutes going into the break.

Seattle took a 33-32 lead early in the second half; Montana answered with its only sustained offensive output of the game, scoring 16 points the next seven minutes to build a 48-39 advantage.

The Redhawks got back into the game at the line before Rubel, who was 2 for 11 and missed all four of her 3-point attempts, saved Montana with her late and-one drive to the basket.

“Kellie came out in a funk,” said Selvig. “After coming off a great game (at Portland), she couldn’t get one down. But we can’t expect her to be awesome every night. She hung in there and got some things done before the game was over.”

Montana hit four of its five shots in overtime, while a scrambling Seattle went 3 for 12, and the Lady Griz led the final 3:58 of the extra session.

Crystal Allen led Seattle with 18 points off the bench. Wilma Afunugo, the Redhawks’ leading scorer, was held to just four points on five shots.

Montana will host the Lady Griz Classic presented by Holiday Inn Missoula Downtown Friday and Saturday. Montana will host Utah Valley Friday at 7:30 p.m., after Austin Peay and Saint Louis meet in the 5:30 p.m. game.


Montana Sports Information