(Editor’s note: Montana State University press release)
BOZEMAN – Montana State had Portland State on the ropes leading by nine points entering the fourth quarter, but the Vikings out-scored the Bobcats 20-9 in the final frame to post a 55-53 win on a pair of Ashley Bolston free throws with four-seconds remaining, Thursday night in Viking Pavilion.
Montana State (7-6, 2-1) got out to an impressive 20-2 start shooting 42 percent from the field, while holding Portland State (9-2, 1-1) to just 17 percent. The Bobcats held a 20-7 lead after the opening period behind nine points from Claire Lundberg.
Despite being out-scored by the Vikings in the second quarter, MSU held a 44-35 advantage at intermission.
The two teams traded points in the third period and MSU took a 44-35 margin into the final 10-minutes.
Portland State opened the fourth quarter on a 7-0 run to pull to within 44-42 with 5:58 left on a Sidney Reilly jumper. A pair of Martha Kuderer free throws pushed MSU’s lead back to six points with 4:46 remaining, but PSU answered with a 6-0 run to even the contest.
The score was tied four times down the stretch. A pair of Kamden Hilborn free throws with 1:49 left gave MSU a 53-51 advantage. Bolston then nailed a jumper with just over a minute to go, and her two charity tosses in the final seconds gave the Vikings its only lead of the game.
Lundberg finished with a team-high 16 points, while Kuderer and Madeline Smith each chipped in ten points, apiece.
MSU out-rebounded PSU 44-36 and were paced under the glass by Smith with eight rebounds. Freshman Gabby Mocchi added a season-best seven boards.
Bolston was the only Vikings player to reach double-digits with 14 points.
MSU will play at Sacramento State on Saturday afternoon.