MSU Women's Hoops v. Weber State (copy)

Montana State's Tori Martell jokes with the other team before a game Feb. 4 at Worthington Arena.

BOZEMAN — Tori Martell’s hot hand never went away.

In the Rocket Mortgage Women’s 3-Point Championships on Thursday night in Indianapolis, the Montana State sharpshooter got better and better with each round on her way to the title.

After putting up 17 points in the first round, she advanced to the semifinals and tied Anna McLeod of Stephen F. Austin with 19 points. In their tiebreaking round, Martell claimed victory with 22 points.

“It was just fun to shoot and get to be here,” Martell said during an interview on the ESPN2 broadcast. “Anna is a really good shooter. I wanted to go first to set the tone, and (I) made a few shots.”

She made more than a few timely ones, that’s for sure.

Martell started slow, missing her first three shots in the first round before hitting the final two shots of the first rack. She did the most damage on the final rack, hitting four of the five shots.

Hitting the last shot of the rack — the money ball, which counted for two points — became a helpful trend for her. She hit the money ball at each of the five stations around the arc in the first round. Her 17 points in that round were second only to McLeod’s 18.

In the second round, Martell hit four of five shots, including the money balls, on the first two racks. She also hit the money ball on the last rack as time expired, tying McLeod’s 19 points.

During the tiebreaker, Martell hit three more money ball shots and drilled four of five shots at three of the stations en route to her win.

Martell made 41.3% of her 3-pointers in her senior season, which was the third-best mark among the women’s participants.

In the Battle of Champions against the winner of the men’s contest, Martell was perfect on the first and final racks, but she came up one point short against Loren Cristian Jackson of Akron. Martell tallied 22 points to Jackson’s 23.

Martell’s fans and coaches lit up social media following her impressive performance.

MSU women’s basketball head coach Tricia Binford tweeted out 22 fire emojis after Martell’s win against McLeon and followed it up later with “22 One Final Time!” and “Wow! We are so proud of you. What a performance.”

MSU men’s basketball head coach Danny Sprinkle also offered his congratulations through a tweet saying, “you represented that jersey well and made all of Bobcat nation proud!”

Montana State athletic director Leon Costello chimed in on Twitter as well and called Martell "A winner from start to finish."

Parker Cotton can be reached at or 406-582-2670. Follow him on Twitter @ByParkerCotton. 

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