WHO: Montana State @ Portland State
WHEN: Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021 @ 8:05 p.m. (MST)
WHERE: Portland, Ore. – Viking Pavilion (3,094)
RECORDS: Montana St.: 4-4, 1-1; Portland State 3-3, 2-2
SERIES: Montana State leads 38-27; Streak: MSU W2
LAST MTG: Feb. 20, 2020 – at MSU 98, Portland State 67
RADIO: Live on My 103.5 KZMY FM with Mark Martello on the call; pregame begins 15-minutes prior to opening tip.
VIDEO: Montana State’s game at Portland State on Thursday can be seen on Pluto TV – Channel 1051
ROSE CITY BOUND: Montana State will play its first Big Sky Conference road games this weekend when it travels to Portland, Ore. – the Rose City. The Bobcats will face Portland State, Thursday, Jan. 14 at 8:05 p.m. (MT) and will conclude its series with PSU on Saturday, Jan. 16 at 1:05 p.m. (MT). Both games are in Viking Pavilion.
BOBCAT PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Sensational sophomore Darian White is the Montana State Player of the Week after averaging 13 points, seven rebounds, 2.5 assists, and 2.5 steals in two games against Northern Arizona. In addition, the Boise, Idaho product went 11-of-12 from the free throw line. She is currently second in the Big Sky averaging 4.1 assists per game and is second in the league averaging 3.1 per contest.
STATISTICALLY SPEAKING: With its loss to Northern Colorado on Saturday, the Bobcats streak of 16 consecutive Big Sky Conference games, and 18 straight victories over league foes if you count its two wins over Northern Colorado and Northern Arizona at the Big Sky Conference Tournament, last March, was snapped. Prior to the UNC loss, MSU’s last setback- 69-68 2OT- came at home against Idaho on Jan. 9, 2020. The 18-game winning streak is a Montana State women’s basketball record.
THE SCOUTING REPORT: Portland State – After having six of its first seven games of the season canceled, Portland State has gone 3-3 overall and 2-2 in Big Sky Conference action. The Vikings swept its home/away series with Sacramento State, last weekend. The Vikings defeated the Hornets 66-64 in overtime in Viking Pavilion, before downing Sacramento State 74-64 in Hornet Gym on Saturday. PSU was swept in its Big Sky home opener by Eastern Washington on Dec. 31 (73-71) and Jan. 2 (73-67). In its win on Thursday, the Vikings were led by Desirae Hansen with 21 points and nine rebounds, and Kylie Jimenez with 15 points, seven assists and four steals. At Sacramento State on Saturday, Tatiana Streun posted 17 points and nine rebounds, while Jada Lewis added 14 points and eight rebounds, and Jimenez 11 points and two assists. For the weekend, the Vikings shot 40% from the field, 33.3% from long distance and 82.1% from the free throw line. On the season, Hansen, Jimenez and Streun are all in double digits, averaging 14.3, 12.2, and 10.2 points per game, respectively. In addition, Hansen and Streun guide the Vikings under the glass pulling down 7.5 rebounds per contest.
BIG SKY NOTES: Eastern Washington’s Aaliyah Alexander was named the Big Sky Player of the Week for her performance against Weber State…Alexander averaged 15 points, 11 rebounds, and five assists…NAU’s Jacqulynn Nakai took over as the Big Sky’s leading scorer. She is averaging 17.6 points per game…UNC’s Alisha Davis leads the BSC in rebounds and blocked shots.
NO PLACE LIKE HOME: Since losing to San Diego on Nov. 24, 2015, Montana State has gone 57-13 (81.4.%) in the Brick Breeden Fieldhouse. In Big Sky Conference action during the same time span, the Bobcats are 39-10 (79.6%) at home.
THE STREAK: With its win over North Dakota on Dec. 6, the Bobcats ran its consecutive winning streak to a school-record 18 games. Montana State started the streak on Jan. 11, 2020 with a 73-62 victory at Portland State. MSU closed out the 2019-20 season with a 76-71 win over Northern Arizona in semifinal action at the Big Sky Tournament on March 11 in Boise, Idaho. The season was halted the next day due to COVID-19. MSU’s 18-game win streak was snapped at BYU on Dec. 10. The streak was the third longest in the nation at the time, behind only Oregon (24) and Princeton (22).
PRESEASON ACCOLADES: Montana State sophomore Darian White, who broke onto the women’s basketball scene last winter, has been named to the preseason all-Big Sky Conference team voted on by BSC head coaches and media members. White, a product of Boise, Idaho, was the 2020 Big Sky Freshman of the Year, after helping the Bobcats to a 25-6 overall mark, a dominating 19-1 league ledger and a Big Sky title. In what was arguably one of the best inaugural campaigns in MSU history, White collected 394 points, 150 rebounds, 104 assists and 76 steals. She played and started in all 31 games, averaging 12.7 points, 4.8 rebounds, 3.4 assists and 2.5 steals per game. White, who recorded 25 games in double-digit scoring, including the last ten games, notched a season-high 23 points in MSU’s win at Eastern Washington connecting on eight-of-15 from the field and six-of-six at the line. She finished 25th in the nation in steals and 31st in the country in steals per game. In MSU’s two victories at the Big Sky Tournament, White was averaging 19 points, 4.5 rebounds, 2.5 steals and 2.0 assists per game, before the championship game was called due to COVID-19. Northern Arizona’s Khiarica Rasheed was tabbed the preseason MVP. Also named to the preseason all-conference squad were Gina Marxen, Idaho, Beyonce Bea, Idaho, Dora Goles, Idaho State and Alisha Davis, Northern Colorado.
A LITTLE BIT OF TORI: Tori Martell, a product of Somerset, Wis., moved up the all-time Montana State three-point made chart last weekend, connecting on two triples at Utah Valley. Martell has 165 career 3-pointers, which ranks fifth all-time. Ahead of Martell on MSU’s all-time list are Katie Bussey (254), Hannah Caudill (231), Oliana Squires (184) and Amy Meckling (174). Martell’s career 35.4% shooting from beyond the arc ranks 10th all-time at Montana State. Martell’s eight 3-pointers against North Dakota on Dec. 6, 2020 broke the MSU school-record of seven previously held by Amy Meckling (Jan. 2, 2000), Brandi Lewis (Feb. 13, 2003) and Hannah Caudill (Jan. 28, 2017). Martell’s total is tied for third most in the nation this season.
DARE TO BE: Sophomore Darian White has picked up where she left off last season. The preseason All-Big Sky Conference selection leads the Bobcats and is third Big Sky averaging 16.0 points per game. She’s been over the 20+ point mark on three occasions, with a career-best 24 points in MSU’s win at Portland on Dec. 17. White, a graduate of Mountain View High School in Boise, Idaho, also leads the team in steals (25), assists (33) and free throws made (37). In addition, White is averaging a team-best 5.6 rebounds per game. She recorded a career-high 11 rebounds in Montana State’s win over Portland.
ALL JACKED UP: Madison Jackson had her best game of the season at BYU on Dec. 10. The Parma, Idaho product tallied 11 points, her first double-digit output since notching a career-best 15 points at Eastern Washington last January. Against the Cougars, Jackson did most of her work at the free throw line connecting on a career-best nine-of-nine. For the season, she is averaging 5.0 points and 2.7 rebounds per game. She’s been sidelined the last six games.
KUDOS TO KOLA: Sophomore Kola Bade Bear has played and started in all eight games to date. The 6-2 product of Billings Senior is averaging 5.5 points and 3.0 rebounds per contest. Bad Bear had one of her best outings of the season at Brigham Young on Dec. 10. Against the Cougars, she posted a career-high 10 points, connecting on three field-goals and a four-of-four effort from the free throw line. Bad Bear pulled down a season-best six rebounds at BYU, as well. In MSU’s win at Portland on Dec. 17, Bad Bear matched her career-best with 10 points on four-of-six shooting. For the season, she has also connected on 17-of-22 from the free throw line, shooting at a 77.3% clip. Her 17 free throw makes are second best on the Bobcat squad.
EASY PEASY: True-freshman Katelynn Limardo has started all eight games for the Bobcats to date. The 6-2 product of Silver City, N.M. (a town where lawman Harvey Whitehall was the first to arrest Billy the Kid, known at the time under the alias Henry Antrim in 1875) is averaging 6.3 points per game. Limardo had her best game of the season at Utah Valley scoring a team-high 15 points. Against the Wolverines, she connected on 6-of-8 from the field and was three-of-five from long distance. Limardo also chipped in four rebounds, two assists, a steal and a block in the win. On the season, she’s averaging 3.9 rebounds per game and is shooting 75% from the free throw line.
THE PRIDE OF ROSEMOUNT: True freshman Taylor Janssen has played in all eight games, including three starts. She is averaging 19 minutes per contest. The Rosemount, Minn., native is averaging 4.8 points per game. Janssen posted a season-high 10 points in MSU’s season-opening victory over North Dakota. Against the Fighting Hawks, Janssen recorded four baskets, including two from long distance. She also added five rebounds, three assists, and two steals.
LAUDING LEXI: Lexi Deden has played in all eight games. The 6-1 forward from Missoula is averaging 5.1 points and 3.6 rebounds per contest. Deden has recorded a season-high nine points on two occasions, including the season-opening victory over North Dakota and in MSU’s win over Utah Valley on Jan. 2. Against UVU, she connected on three-of-six from the field. Deden also hit one triple and was two-of-two at the line. In addition, she pulled down three rebounds and had a season-high four steals. The Deden name is familiar in Montana basketball circles. Deden’s mother Dawn (Silliker) Deden played for the Montana from 1984-88. At UM, she was a 1,000-point scorer and was an all-Mountain West selection. In addition, Lexi’s aunt and head coach at Sentinel High School, Karen Deden, was a standout at Washington and is in the Husky Hall of Fame.
SKYE’S THE LIMIT: Skye Lindsay, who sat out last season after transferring from Pepperdine, has seen action in four games this season and is averaging 6.0 points and 3.8 rebounds per game. The Orem, Utah product posted a season-best 11 points in MSU’s win at Portland. In MSU’s game against South Dakota State, Lindsay recorded eight points and five rebounds.
DON’T MESS WITH TEXAS: Leia Beattie, a product of Midland, Texas, posted a season-best 12 points against South Dakota State on Dec. 21. Last week, she averaged 2.5 rebounds per game. Beattie also has a familiar Montana basketball pedigree. Her mother, Kelly (Pilcher) Beattie was a two-time All-Big Sky selection for the Lady Griz and is sixth all-time in assists. In addition, her 15 assists vs. Boise State and No. Arizona still rank first in single-game history. Beattie’s aunt/coach at MCA, Carla (Beattie) Cunneen, is a former Lady Griz who was the 1996 Big Sky Sixth Player of the Year.
HEATING UP: Ava Ranson, a product of Boise, Idaho, averaged four points and went 2-3 from long distance against Northern Colorado, last weekend.