Madison Browning scored 16 points to lead four Wyoming All-Stars in double figures as they cruised to a 77-67 win over Montana on Saturday at the Fortin Center on the campus of Rocky Mountain College.
The win avenged Friday night’s 82-64 loss in Sheridan and also snapped Montana’s 10-game winning streak in the series.
“I think this team (for Montana) is one of the better ones they’ve had over the past few years,” said Wyoming head coach Frank McCarthy. “So to come up here and beat them in front of their home fans is really special.”
After a back-and-forth first half that saw Montana close on a 13-3 run to take a 32-30 lead into the locker room, Wyoming wasn’t about to relive Friday night’s letdown where they were outscored 48-32 over the final 20 minutes.
Instead, back-to-back three pointers by Browning and Mikayla Brower gave them a 36-35 lead less than two minutes into the half and never trailed again after an inside bucket by Christie Schiel at the 7:30 mark of the third quarter to give them a 38-37 advantage.
“We talked about being in the same situation (Friday) at halftime,” McCarthy said. “I thought the girls did an outstanding job of playing defense and making plays when we needed too.”
Montana tied the game at 44 on a bucket by Missoula Sentinel’s Ellie Tinkle but scored just one point over the next five-plus minutes as Wyoming’s lead swelled to 13 with 7:05 to play in the game.
“Some nights you have it and some nights you don’t,” said Montana head coach Brian Henderson. “Shooting is contagious. And when one person misses it seems that a lid goes on the bucket and every shot you put up finds a way out of the hoop.”
After a three-pointer from the right wing by D.J. Rhinehardt cut the lead to ten, Wyoming countered with another efficient run as they outscored Montana 13-3 — all from the free throw line — over a the next three minutes as they built a 72-53 advantage with 1:51 to play.
Tinkle led the Montana team with 16 points while Peyton Ferris chipped in 15.
“I’m not going to take anything away from Wyoming,” said Henderson, who is 18-6 all-time in the series. “They played solid defensively all night and worked hard to get the win.”
NOTES: Ferris was named Ms. Basketball 2012 before the game. ... Montana now holds a 22-10 edge in the all-time series.