MISSOULA, Montana — Kayleigh Valley and Kellie Rubel scored 12 points apiece and Montana weathered bad shooting and a career-high 20 points from Peyton Ferris to beat rival Montana State 62-48 in a back-and-forth game on Saturday.
Montana struggled offensively, starting out 0-8 shooting from the field to fall behind 8-0 before coach Robin Selvig was forced to call a time out. A three-pointer by Shanae Gilham on the other side sparked an 8-2 run, and the Lady Griz took a 29-23 lead into halftime.
"Neither team shot very well, we had a couple transitions that got the crowd going and I thought both clubs did a nice job defensively," said Selvig, whose team shot 31 percent from the field. "It was hard to score."
The win moved Montana (11-5, 4-1 Big Sky Conference) into a tie for second-place while the Bobcats (7-8, 1-4) fell to the bottom of the conference rankings.
Ferris, who also had a career-high 11 rebounds, scored 15 of the Bobcats' 23 first-half points.
"She's a dominant player," Montana forward Maggie Rickman said. "All we could resort to (to stop her) was to not let her get the ball."
The second half was more of the same, with stretches of poor shooting by both teams. Montana started the half 2 of 10 from the field while MSU surged to a 41-33 lead.
But with 12 minutes remaining, the Lady Griz found their rhythm, courtesy of timely 3-pointers from McCalle Feller, who finished the game with 11 points. Her last 3 came in the middle of a 12-minute, 20-1 run by Montana.
"It was a combination of them making some runs and us having too long of cold spells," Bobcats' coach Tricia Binford said. "We just can't have those long of spells without putting points on the board."