Women's basketball splits roadtrip, defeats Grizzlies
The UNC women's basketball team needed overtime to defeat Montana Saturday, but the extra five minutes were well worth the result as the 56-54 win in Missoula, Mont., locked up a Big Sky Tournament spot for the second consecutive year.
The University of Northern Colorado (15-10, 7-5 Big Sky) got back-to-back 3-pointers to start the game from senior forward Kaisha Brown and junior forward Lauren Oosdyke, and the Bears never trailed after that.
The Bears led by as many as 16 in the first half following a Brown 3-pointer with 5:39 left. UNC, while shooting 42.9 percent from the field, held Montana to 25 percent shooting in the first 20 minutes and went into halftime leading 31-16.
The Grizzlies (14-11, 7-5) mounted a comeback in the second half behind 42 percent shooting and UNC shooting only 18.8 percent. With an 11-point lead with 8:39 left, the Bears were out-scored 18-8 the remainder of regulation, and the teams went into overtime tied at 52.
Sophomore guard D'shara Strange scored all four of UNC's points in the extra five minutes, and the Bears left Montana knowing they own one of the six spots in the conference tournament.
Strange led all players with 19 points and added nine rebounds, four steals and two assists while playing all 45 minutes. Oosdyke had a double-double for the second straight game, scoring 10 points and grabbing a career-high-tying 13 rebounds, while Brown scored 13 points.
Oosdyke's scoring total pushed her into 15th place on UNC's all-time scoring list with 1,012 points in her career.
The Bears' next game comes against the second place team in the Big Sky, Eastern Washington, at 7:05 p.m. Thursday at Butler-Hancock Sports Pavilion. The Eagles (16-9, 10-2) have won six straight games, and their last loss was a 56-53 defeat at home to UNC.
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