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ISU Women's Basketball

Game Recap: Women's Basketball | 12/29/2023 10:30:00 PM | Jonathan Match, ISU Media Relations
Game Recap: Women's Basketball | 12/29/2023 10:30:00 PM | Jonathan Match, ISU Media Relations

Bengals Fall Just Short in Conference Opener at Montana State

POCATELLO, Idaho – After a furious fourth-quarter comeback attempt, the Montana State Bobcats were able to hit a shot with under a second left on the clock and defeat the Bengals 58-56 in Bozeman Friday Night.
The Bengals (4-6, 0-1) BSC rallied back from a 51-39 deficit in the final six minutes of the game but came up just short.

Postgame Remarks
Head Coach Seton Sobolewski after the end of the game,
"That was another classic battle in Bozeman. Great effort and comeback on our part. I'm excited for the day we get over the hump and win one of these close road games."

How it Happened
The Bobcats led the game from start to finish Friday night in Bozeman with the Bengals only able to tie the game once in the final seconds of the contest.

The Bengals got off to a sluggish start in the first period only hitting three field goals in the first 10 minutes. Two of which came from Kacey Spink, going two-of-four in the first quarter. The Bobcats were able to hit five in the first period with three free throws to take a 14-6 lead in the first period.

The Bengals rebounded back in the 2nd quarter. Idaho State capitalized on seven Montana State turnovers in the quarter, scoring 11 of its 17-2nd quarter points off of the MSU turnovers. Maria Dias set the tone for the Bengals at the free throw line, going six-for-six and hitting a jump shot for her eight points in the quarter.
The Bengals outscored the Bobcats 17-10 to close out the half and head to the locker room with a one-point 24-23 game.

The final 20 minutes was a back-and-forth battle with both teams working to claw out a victory.

After ending the 3rd period with a 41-39 lead, the Bobcats came out on fire in the first three minutes of the 4th quarter, going on an 11-0 run and looking to put the game away.

This Bengal team wasn't going to just roll over and die.

With 6:29 left in the game, Spink hit a jumpshot and the Bengals' comeback attempt was on. Dias followed it up with consecutive jumpshots and the Bengals cut the Bobcat lead to 52-45 with five minutes to play.

The Bengals kept chipping away. Tasia Jordan hit a pair of free throws and then hit a fastbreak layup off of a steal to cut the bobcat lead to three.

Back and forth the teams went over the final four minutes of play. With 90 seconds left, Laura Bello hit a layup and a free throw off a Bobcat foul cutting the MSU lead to two.

With 30 seconds left, Maria Dias took the ball and drove to the basket, hitting a clutch layup and tying the game.

The Bengals 17-3 run in the fourth was one of the best of the season and showed the young teams' grit and determination.

On the final possession of the game, the Bobcats missed the first game-winning attempt but were ablet to corral the loose ball on the court and drain a jumper with .08 seconds left on the clock. ISU's final shot attempt was off and the Bobcats came away with the 58-56 win.


  • Maria Dias had a career game against the Bobcats, her 21 points, and eight made free throws were all career-highs
  • The Bengals had 13 steals as a team, a season high. Kacey Spink and Tasia Jordan both had a season-high four steals each
  • Idaho State forced 21 turnovers out of the Bobcats compared to the Bengals' 17. ISU scored 25 points from those 21 turnovers.
  • This is the
  • This is the Bengals' fourth-straight game decided by five points or less. ISU is 2-2 in the games.
  • ISU lost the battle on the glass being outrebounded 40-33. Kacey Spink led the Bengals with eight rebounds
  • Three Bengals scored in double digits. Maria Dias led with 21 points. Kacey Spink and Tasia Jordan both had 10 points each.
  • The Bengals hit a season high 13-of-14 free throws for 92.9 percent made. This is the 2nd time this season that the Bengals have hit over 90 percent at the free throw line with 10+ made.
  • The Bengals' Road woes continue as the Orange and Black are now 5-0 in away games this season.
  • In the previous 14 seasons the Bengals are now 32-29 in games decided by three points or less.

Up Next
The Bengals now head to Missoula to take on the Lady Griz of Montana and ring in the new year. Tip off is set for 2:00 PM Sunday, Dec. 21 at Dahlberg Arena.