Tip-off Time: 6:00pm PST
Radio: Komo 1000
Montana State University Statistics:
Record: 25-6 (15-3)
Points Per Game: 72.5
Points Against Per Game: 63.9
Montana State University Bobcats:
Bobcats Key Players:
G- Peyton Ferris, Sr. 5-9: 17.5ppg, 7.5rpg, 40.8% 3pt, 65.6% FT
The Big Sky MVP, Peyton Ferris, is the driving force for this team. The high tempo offense the Bobcats runs suits this shooters style very well. Ferris is able to drive to the hole, take the pull-up jumper, or hit from past the 3-pt line. The Huskies are going to have to work hard to keep her closely covered and keep those outside shots to a minimum or it may be a long night for the Dawgs.
F- Riley Nordgaard, Sr. 5-10: 13.5ppg, 8.3rpg, 37.6% 3pt, 80.6% FT
Senior Forward Riley Nordgaard is excellent rebounder even though she lacks the size most classic rebounders do. She has a knack for knowing where the ball is coming off the basket, has excellent passing ability and a more than decent outside shot. I would call Riley her team’s version of Chantel Osahor. The Huskies will need to be very aware of her multiple abilities and locations on the court. It would be very easy to lose track of such a dynamic player.
G- Hannah Caudill, Jr. 5-7: 10.0ppg, 2.2rpg, 39.45 3pt, 79.5% FT
Junior Guard Hannah Caudill is the general of the court. She has savvy ball handling skills that allow her to make decisive passes while limiting turnovers. She understand how to draw in defenses to open up the floor. She can pick impatient defenses apart, so the Huskies will need to know their job and stick to it.
What to Expect
Everything I have read and seen about the Bobcats makes me believe they are very much like the Huskies. They like to go up-tempo, have some great outside shooters, an amazing rebounder, and skilled passing abilities. The Bobcats do rotate their players much more, with Peyton Ferris averaging the most minutes per game at 28.5. Whereas the Huskies tend to lean on their two stars more with Kelsey leading the team with 37.1 minutes per game.
The Huskies are going to have to do better than their last outing when they lost to Oregon in the Pac-12 tournament. In that game the Huskies played flat and were unable to cover the two outside shooters. They also shot an abysmal 20.8% from 3-pt land making only 5 out of 24 shots and 54.5% from the free throw line making only 6-11. Those numbers are unheard of normally and something was obviously not working that night. On the season the Huskies are 38.1% from 3-pt and 75.7% from the line.
This should be a fast paced high action game. Both teams do their best when pushing tempo and able to pick defenses apart before they have a chance to set. However, even though Montana State is an excellent basketball team, the Huskies should be able to handle them with relative ease. I’m hesitant to agree with the odds-makers opinion that the Huskies should win by 22, but if they play as I know they can it could be even more. Additionally the home court advantage for the Huskies should be staggering, they were able to sell out Key Arena during the Pac-12 Tournament, selling out Hec Ed should be guaranteed.
Prediction: Washington Huskies-88, Montana State University Bobcats-72
Acknowledgements: I would really like to say thank you to the Montana State University twitterverse for steering me in the direction of some excellent stories and in-depth reporting on this team. Specifically I would like to thank Skyline Sports (@SkylineSportsMT) and robert d robinson (@mslacat) who was initially razzing me for looking for information to begin with.