Press Release UMW
No. 21 Montana Western Bulldogs (9-3, 1-1) topped No. 17 Dakota State Trojans (11-5, 1-0) in a competitive top-25 matchup for the Bulldogs' second round of the Cactus Classic.
The Bulldogs performed well in the first quarter—six of twelve from the field (50 percent), three of five from the arc (60 percent), and held the Trojans to just eight points (four of 17 from the field and zero of seven from the 3-point line). Dakota State nearly matched the Bulldogs in the second quarter with 18 points compared to the Bulldogs' 19, but Montana Western still held a nine-point lead at the half, 35-26.
The Bulldogs struggled to get on the board in the third quarter; Dakota State held them to 11 percent shooting from the field (two of 19) and nine percent from the 3-point line (one of 11). The Trojans surpassed the Bulldogs by one point with two-and-a half minutes left to play in the third—but a 3-point shot by Jenni Weber on the next possession put Montana Western back on top.
In the fourth, the Bulldogs extended their two-point lead (40-38) to ten (50-40) with two made 3-pointers and a shot down low. Dakota State added three layups to the scoreboard to trail behind the Bulldogs 53-49 with a minute left in regulation. The Trojans fouled four times in the last minute, sending Brynley Fitzgerald and Shainy Mack to the free throw line where they went seven of eight. The Trojans trailed by two, 58-56, with three seconds to go. A missed three pointer, and Mack's foul shots, secured a Bulldog win, 60-56.
"They were so gritty and connected tonight," head coach Lindsay Woolley said. "Dakota State applies so much pressure; it's hard to prepare for…total team effort."
Inside the Box Score
The Bulldogs had 23 turnovers; the Trojans had 17.
Montana Western had 22 points from the bench; Dakota State only had five.
Fitzgerald led the Bulldogs with a double-double—18 points and 12 rebounds—and tallied six assists.
Savannah Walsdorf led Dakota State with 15 points.
The Bulldogs finish up the Cactus Classic tomorrow with a game against Bushnell (Ore.) at 4 p.m.
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All Bulldog Athletics home events can be streamed at www.bulldogsports.com/watch