Bobcats Top Tigers Late, 72-66

Bobcats Top Tigers Late, 72-66

STOCKTON, Calif. - The Pacific women's basketball team was topped by Montana State, 72-66, Friday in the Tiger Turkey Tip-Off Thanksgiving Tournament despite 16 points from Chelsea Lidy.

Desire Finnie and Najah Queenland each added 14 points, but the Tiger fell after leading at the end of each of the first three quarters. The game featured 15 ties and 12 lead changes, but Montana State prevailed as the Tigers struggled from the free throw line, hitting just 12-of-25 to leave a plethora of points on the board.

Mauriana Clayton grabbed eight rebounds including two offensive boards that both preceded put-back buckets as she finished with four points.

Ameela Li added five points with four assists, while Queenland also chipped in a pair of assists, blocks and a steal in the contest.

The Tigers shot 40 percent for the game (23-of-58), while Montana State shot 44 percent (25-of-57), with the Tigers connecting on 8-of-22 from deep. The Bobcats held a slim edge in points in the paint, 30-26, and a 44-35 advantage on the glass, leading to an 18-10 advantage in second chance points.

Montana State opened to a 6-1 lead, as Peyton Ferris connected on three buckets. Lidy hung for a jumper and Finnie connected on a three from the corner, but the Bobcats answered with a triple for an 11-6 lead. Queenland finished inside and then her three-pointer gave Pacific a 15-13 lead. The Bobcats answered with back-to-back lay-ups and led 20-19 before a three pointer from Jessica Blakeslee put the Tigers in front, 22-20, after the first quarter.

Lidy added a lay-up in the second quarter, but Hannah Caudill answered with a triple. After a three from Finnie, the Bobcats reeled off a 7-0 run, with another three by Caudill giving Montana State a 30-27 lead. Finnie connected on another three, and after trading free throws, Ameela Li went coast-to-coast for a 34-32 lead. Blaire Braxton scored inside for the Bobcats as the two teams were locked up at 34-34 at the half.

Pacific shot 34 percent in the first half (12-of-35), while Montana State connected on 46 percent (13-of-28). But Pacific hit 5-of-12 from three-point range and held a 10-6 advantage in turnovers to stay knotted at 34-34 at the break.

In the third, Finnie delivered another three-pointer, before back-to-back Montana State jumpers and a three-pointer from Li. The Bobcats struck for back-to-back layups from Annika Lai and Riley Nordgaard for a 42-40 lead. Owens knocked down a three-ball from the top of the key to tie it at 45-45, but Margreet Barhoum answered with a three. Queenland and Madeline Smith traded buckets, and after Blakeslee hit the first of two from the line, Clayton cleaned up the her mis with a rebound and put-back to tie at 50-50. Clayton then added a put-back off a missed three as Pacific lead 53-50 after three quarters.

Montana State scored the first five points of the court before Lidy drove and finished to tie the game at 55-55. Finnie drained a floater in the paint but Barhoum connected on a pull-up jumper to tie once more. Lidy hit a pair of free throws for a 59-57 lead. After a free throw by Queenland, Braxton and Lidy traded jumpers as Pacific led 62-59 with 3:03 to go.  Nordgaard added a jumper, and a pair of free throws from Delany Junkermier put the Bobcats in front, 63-62. Emily Simons hit one of two free throws, as did Lai as the Bobcats led 64-63 with 1:04 to go.

Barhoum hit a three-pointer with 41 seconds to go, putting Montana State up 67-64. Lidy drove for a lay-up to pull within one, and after a pair of free throws from Caudill, Finnie couldn't connect on a three-pointer. Junkermier added two free throws and after another missed three, Caudill hit one of two free throws to settle on the final margin.

Both teams move to 2-3 on the young season.

The Tigers are back in action on Saturday, against Marquette at 3:30, following the 1:00 p.m. tip between Montana State and Santa Clara. Santa Clara (2-2) posted a 65-62 win over Marquette (4-1) in the opener.