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Bulldog women rally to defeat College of Idaho

UMW News Bureau

When College of Idaho's Dayna Drager nailed a three-pointer at the 10:19 mark of the first period giving his team a 17-3 lead over the University of Montana Western, the rest of the game looked pretty bleak for the Bulldogs. The Bulldog offense was as cold as the weather outside up to that point with their only field goal coming from Nicole Tams six minutes earlier. In spite of the bad start the Bulldogs battled back and defeated the Coyotes 60-56, improving their record on the season to 9-2. The loss dropped the Coyotes to 6-5 on the season. By Lowell Peterson When College of Idaho's Dayna Drager nailed a three-pointer at the 10:19 mark of the first period giving her team a 17-3 lead over the University of Montana Western, the rest of the game looked pretty bleak for the Bulldogs. The Bulldog offense was as cold as the weather outside up to that point with their only field goal coming from Nicole Tams six minutes earlier. In spite of the bad start the Bulldogs battled back and defeated the Coyotes 60-56, improving their record on the season to 9-2. The loss dropped the Coyotes to 6-5 on the season. Still down 21-8 at the 8:41 mark, Montana Western made their move over the next two minutes. Alecia Wilson started it with a layup, Tams knocked down a three-point shot and Hayley Pettit scored at the rim to bring the Bulldogs to within six points at 21-15 with six and a half minutes left in the first half. The margin stayed at six at the break with College of Idaho on top 30-24. A layup and jump shot by the Coyotes’ Tina Fakahafua started the second half scoring and put College of Idaho on top by ten points. The Bulldogs then went on an 8-0 run over the next three minutes to cut the score to 34-32 on six free throws, two each by Jenna Banks, Bignell and Pettit, and a short jumper by Wilson. Down 53-45 with 6:22 to play, the Bulldogs went on their second run of the game. Pettit started it out with an offensive rebound basket, Tams made a shot and free throw when fouled on the basket and Bignell hit another jumper to pull Montana Western to within one point. Tams then went to the free throw line for two shots; her first shot tied the game for the first time and the second gave the Bulldogs their first lead of the game, 54-53, with 3:25 to play. Bignell would score again at the 2:40 mark for a 56-53 lead, completing the 11-0 run. Although the Coyotes got to within one point and were only down by three late in the game, the Bulldogs clinched the win with 28 seconds left when Wilson slipped a smooth pass through defenders to Bignell for a layup. Pettit’s fourth double-double of the season led the Bulldogs. She had 15 points and 16 rebounds, seven offensive. Tams scored 12 points and Bignell had 11 points and eight rebounds. Wilson had eight points, three rebounds, three assists and two steals. The Coyotes’ Felicity Jones also had a double-double with 16 points and 10 rebounds and Drager finished with 12 points. Laura Geis, who played last year at Montana Western, just missed a triple-double with 10 points, 10 rebounds and eight blocked shots. Montana Western lost an exhibition game to NCAA Division II Northwest Nazarene 87-73 on Friday night in Nampa, Idaho. The Bulldogs endured another cold start and had to battle back but were not able to overcome early deficits. The Bulldogs were down 16-4 early and 27-10 with 8:50 to play in the first half. Breyenne Mosey cut the lead to 36-28 with a jumper just before the first half ended. The Bulldogs started strong in the second half and cut the lead to 49-45 on a bucket by Tams within the first five minutes, but the Crusaders went on a 9-0 run to push the lead back to 13 points and end any threat of a comeback victory for Montana Western. The Bulldogs had three players lead the way. Pettit had 22 points and nine rebounds, Bignell scored 19 points and Tams had 18 points, four assists and three steals. Five players scored in double figures for Northwest Nazarene. Megan Hingston had 23, Briaunna King 16, Heather Adams 15, and Falissa Smith and Alla Dzhidzhiyeshvili each scored 11. The Bulldogs' next action will be an exhibition game on Monday, Dec. 19, against the University of Montana Grizzlies in Missoula at 7 p.m.