The Yellowjackets scored the first two points of the West Regional semi-final game at Brougham Pavilion. This was the last time Montana held the lead. With a final score of 86 to 70, the Falcons secured their place among the final sixteen teams in the NCAA Division II tournament.
Senior Jacket Joan Langford hit the first three-point shot. Senior Kerie Hughes immediately answered this on the next shot with three points of her own.
Hughes retook the floor after a few minutes resting on the bench during the second half. As she ran out onto the floor, one fan leaned into the person next to him and observed: "here comes the Kerie show."
But the standout efforts of one senior are not what has made SPU’s women the number one ranked team. The consistent performances and astounding collaboration are what have brought the Falcons to this point in the season. Hughes, with the second highest scoring for the game at 20 points also had the highest number of Falcon assists with 5.
Senior Kelley Berglund took the scoring crown with 21 points for the game.
The Falcons continued to increase their lead throughout the game with a slight slowdown at the beginning of the half when the Yellowjackets came within three. With only five minutes remaining, they fell behind by ten and were never able to recover.
Free throws dominated the last two and a half minutes of the game as Montana looked for a way to close the gap. The Falcons took sixteen free shots during that time. They only made seven of them, but seven was enough to put the Jackets away.
The action was interrupted when two "fans" stripped to their skivvies, their faces masked by black nylons went running and leaping across the floor. Safety and Security officer Ed Newlin took off in hot pursuit but was unable to catch the culprits. "But we will," he said.
SPU takes on Cal State-Bakersfield in the final game of the NCAA West Regional tournament on Monday at 7:00 p.m. California beat out Northwest Nazarene 103 to 84 in their semi-final win on Saturday.
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Title: And again, Montana State-Billings falls 86-70 | Author: Laura Onstot | Section: Sports | Published Date: 2003-03-12 | Internal ID: 3241