WSU Drops 80-66 Verdict To Montana In Lady Griz Championship Game

Dec. 30, 2000

MISSOULA, Mont. - Despite a career high 23-point performance from Kelley Berglund, the Washington State Cougars could not overcome a slow start and fell to the Montana Lady Griz 80-66 Saturday night in the championship game of the Lady Griz Holiday Classic.

The loss dropped the Cougars record to 5-5 while Montana improved to 8-3. Berglund and Katie Nyseth earned all-tournament honors for WSU. Nyseth was the only other Cougar to reach double figures with 10 points against Montana.

WSU never led in the game as Montana jumped out to the lead quickly scoring eight of the game's first nine points. The Lady Griz held as large as a 13-point lead in the first half before settling for a 37-28 halftime advantage.

Despite the deficit, the Cougars kept Montana's lead to within single digits for the first portion of the second half. In fact, WSU cut the Lady Griz's lead to as little as 53-49 at the 10:36 mark of the second half. However, five consecutive points by Montana ending with a three-pointer by Lauren Cooper stretched the lead to nine at 58-49 with 8:50 left and the Cougars never threatened again.

Cooper's trey was just the beginning of a stretch that saw her score 14 points in the game's final 8:50. Cooper finished with 21 points leading a contingent of three Montana players that scored in double figures.

Both teams gave similar shooting performances in the game as WSU was 23-of-58 (39.7 percent) from the floor while Montana was 22-of-53 (41.5 percent). The Lady Griz obtained their advantage by converting on 31-of-38 free throw attempts compared to 15 conversions out of 22 free throw attempts for the Cougars.

In giving her career high performance, Berglund was 9-of-16 from the field and 5-of-9 from the free throw line. In addition, Berglund grabbed 10 rebounds, just one shy from her career high. Her double-double was the second double-double by a Cougar this weekend. Whitney Martindale performed the feat Friday with a 13 point, 10 rebound performance in the 76-49 win over Samford.

The Lady Griz Classic marked the completion of the Cougars' non-conference portion of the 2000-01 schedule. WSU opens up Pac-10 play at home Thursday, Jan. 4 against USC. Tip-off is slated for 7 p.m. at Friel Court.

--wsucougars.com--
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