Andrea Jones led the T-Birds with 15 points
SUU Strategic Communications

SUU Comes Up Short at Montana State

March 04, 2013
By SUU Strategic Communication

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BOZEMAN, Mont., Mar. 4 – Southern Utah (13-15, 7-11) came out on the losing end of a closely contested road matchup at Montana State (16-11, 10-8) Monday night. Neither team led by more than nine points throughout and the Thunderbirds trailed by just three in the final minutes before the Bobcats ended the game on a 7-2 run to take a 56-48 victory. MSU locked up its spot in the Big Sky Tournament with the win while SUU is now tied for seventh place with Northern Arizona as the two teams continue to battle it out for the final postseason bid.

The game started with a couple of quick threes from Latisha Adams and Rechel Carter as the Bobcats grabbed an 11-6 advantage early on, but the T-Birds came back with six straight points to go up by one. Andrea Jones scored a layup to get the run going then finished it off with a jumper to give Southern Utah a 12-11 lead.

Montana State pulled ahead again after putting together a 13-3 rally following the 10-minute mark, but SUU answered with a 9-0 run to even things up at 26-26 with 2:39 left in the half. MSU built its lead back to five down the stretch but Hailey Mandelko connected on a three to make it a 31-29 game at the break.

Durham led all scorers with 11 points in the first half while Mandelko recorded eight for the Thunderbirds after hitting two shots from behind the arc. The Bobcats held a narrow shooting edge to start the game, converting on 35.3 percent of their attempts to Southern Utah’s mark of 33.3 percent, and built a 24-18 advantage on the glass. 

Baskets were tough to come by in the second half and after a three-and-a-half minute scoreless stretch for both sides early on, Jones sank a pair of free throws to level the game at 36-36. It remained close until halfway through the period when Lindsay Stockton sank a free throw to push the Bobcat advantage back to seven.

SUU made one last rally that ended with Marquelle Funk hitting two at the line to bring the score to 49-46 with 6:09 remaining. Montana State was able to outscore the T-Birds by a count of 7-2 down the stretch however to come away with the 56-48 victory.

Southern Utah held the Bobcats to just 16 field goals on the night, and a shooting mark of 27.1 percent. The Thunderbirds shot slightly better at 32.7 percent and hit 4-12 from the outside. MSU was able to make up the difference at the foul line where it went 18-22 while SUU was just 10-15. Montana State also held a 46-38 advantage on the glass.

Kalli Durham led all scorers with 17 points, 10 of which came on free throws. Jones topped the T-Birds with 15 and Mandelko chipped in another 11 while going 3-6 from beyond the arc.

Southern Utah now returns home to finish up the regular season by hosting Northern Colorado and the University of North Dakota. The Thunderbirds will take on the Bears this Thursday at 7:00 p.m. before preparing for their home finale on Saturday in another seven o’clock showdown. Coverage of the games is available at