FLAGTAFF, Ariz. — Senior Katie Baker matched her career high with 26 points to lead Montana to a 59-51 victory over Northern Arizona Thursday night, and the Big Sky Conference regular-season title.
Later in the night Southern Utah knocked off second-place Northern Colorado 71-58 in Cedar City, Utah, and gave Montana the outright Big Sky title, its first regular-season crown since 2009. The Lady Griz host next week’s seven-team Big Sky tournament.
The tournament will either begin on Wednesday, if Montana also hosts the men’s tournament, or Thursday, if only the women’s tournament is in Missoula.
With freshman Shanae Gilham out with an injury and senior Kenzie De Boer under the weather, Baker was the focal point of the offense all night, and she delivered, hitting 10 of her 20 shots.
If Southern Utah wins at home Saturday night against North Dakota or if NAU loses at home to Montana State Saturday afternoon, SUU will make the tournament in its first year in the Big Sky and face No. 2 seed Northern Colorado.
Montana will close out its regular season with a game Saturday at 3 p.m. (MT) at Sacramento State. The Hornets ran all over Montana State Thursday night, 84-50.
In other Big Sky games Thursday, Eastern Washington clinched the No. 3 tournament seed with a 67-61 overtime victory over Idaho State, and Portland State kept Weber State winless with a 77-73 overtime victory in Portland.
Women’s Big Sky Conference Standings
Montana (16-3, 22-6)
Northern Colorado (15-5, 18-11)
Eastern Washington (13-6, 17-11)
Idaho State (12-7, 17-11)
Sacramento State (12-7, 17-11)
Montana State (10-9, 16-12)
Southern Utah (8-11, 14-15)
Northern Arizona (7-12, 8-20)
North Dakota (6-13, 11-17)
Portland State (6-13, 12-16)
Weber State (0-19, 0-28)
Gregory Scores 21 to Lead Griz to Win over Sac State
MISSOULA — Jordan Gregory scored 21 points as Montana maintained its hold on first place in the Big Sky Conference with a 63-52 victory over Sacramento State on Thursday night.
The Grizzlies (22-6, 18-1 Big Sky) lead Weber State by one game in the conference standings with one game remaining in the regular season.
Kareem Jamar added 12 points for Montana, which played again without starters Will Cherry and Mathias Ward because of foot injuries. Cherry, the team’s leading scorer, has missed the last three games and is also expected to sit out the regular-season finale Saturday against Northern Arizona. Ward, who was hurt Feb. 16, had surgery this week and is out for the season.
John Dickson led Sacramento State (14-14, 8-11) with 15 points.
The Vikings, one of four teams still fighting for the final three spots in the seven-team Big Sky tournament, finish the regular season Saturday at Montana State.
Montana State edges N. Arizona in OT
BOZEMAN — Antonio Biglow scored 27 points to help Montana State hold on for an 83-79 victory in overtime over Northern Arizona on Thursday night.
Montana State (12-16, 9-10 Big Sky) also got 19 points and 12 rebounds from Paul Egwuonwu, 18 points and nine rebounds from Flavien Davis and 11 points from Christian Moon. Biglow also had seven steals.
Northern Arizona (11-19, 8-11) was led by Gabe Rogers, who scored 29 points, including seven 3-pointers. Stallon Saldivar scored 14 points and Max Jacobsen had 12.
Montana State had a 34-26 scoring advantage in the paint and a 10-0 edge in fast-break points.
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