Montana State's Skye Lindsay defends

Montana State's Skye Lindsay defends South Dakota State's Lindsey Theuninck during a women's basketball game on Monday at Worthington Arena. 

BOZEMAN — Junior Myah Selland scored nine unanswered points in the final 3:45 of the third quarter to give South Dakota State a comfortable advantage en route to an 82-67 women's basketball victory over Montana State on Monday.

Montana State (2-3) closed to within 48-43 at the 3:52 mark of the third stanza on an Ashley Van Sickle layup, but South Dakota State (6-2) responded with a 12-5 run to take a 60-48 lead into the final frame.

The Jackrabbits built their largest lead at 69-48 with 6:59 remaining. The Bobcats whittled the lead down to nine points on a 19-7 run with just over a minute left in the contest but would get no closer.

“Against a top team like South Dakota State you don’t have the luxury of making a lot of mistakes,” said MSU coach Tricia Binford in a school press release. “I think we’ve hit a wall mentally and physically and we need a break. We’ve played five games in the last eleven days against a brutal schedule. We haven’t had time to focus on ourselves, which is something we need with such a young team.

“The positive is that we have a lot of film against good quality opponents. We need to do some teaching, figure things out and get ready for the conference season.”

South Dakota State, which is receiving votes in this week’s AP Top 25 poll and is also ranked eighth in the Mid-Major top 25, jumped out to a 19-13 lead after the opening 10 minutes. Midway through the second quarter, the Bobcats went on a 9-0 run to take a 29-27 lead with 2:29 remaining in the half following a Darian White jumper.

The Jackrabbits, however, countered with an 8-2 run down the stretch to take a 35-31 lead into intermission.

Montana State was led by Tori Martell with 16 points. White added 14 points and freshman Leia Beattie 12.

Selland, a preseason all-Summit League first-team selection, finished with 27 points, connecting on 8 of 14 from the field and 9 of 9 from the line to pace three Jackrabbits in double digits.

“In the last two games we’ve given up 27 and 31 points (to post players),” Binford said in the release. “I was happy with our post play (today) but in terms of balance we need to establish an interior presence for a full 40 minutes. And that’s something we will work on before the start of the Big Sky season.”

For the game, MSU shot 37.1% from the field, 30.8% from 3-point range and 65% at the line. Martell led the Bobcats from long distance connecting on four of eight from beyond the arc. SDSU shot 46.3% from the floor and converted 25 of 31 from the line.

The Jackrabbits outrebound the Bobcats, 42-33. Selland led all players with 12 rebounds. MSU was paced under the glass by White and Lindsay, both of whom gathered five rebounds. 

MSU will take a short Christmas break before traveling to Southern Utah for the Big Sky opener on Dec. 31 in Cedar City.

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