MSU’s basketball programs went a collective 3-1 over the weekend. It started last Thursday, Feb. 6, when the men and women both earned wins over the Idaho Vandals. On Saturday, Feb. 8, the women added another win, while the men struggled against the Eastern Washington Eagles.
For the MSU women, their dominant reign over the conference continued when they beat the Vandals, 62-56, avenging their only conference loss of the season thus far. The Bobcats did not dominate, but they were pleased that they found revenge against the Big Sky’s second-ranked team. Head coach Tricia Binford asserted, "Our fresh legs kept us active under the boards, and it was nice to see our bench produce 22 points." Their reserve scoring was vital, as they did not have any room to breathe until they shot nearly 60 percent in the fourth quarter. The timely shooting and a 42-23 rebounding advantage led the Cats to a victory, providing some additional momentum before the annual “Pack the Place in Pink” game.
On Saturday, Feb. 8 in front of a sea of pink, the Blue and Gold took the floor against the Big Sky Conference’s last place team, Eastern Washington. Despite this, anxiety built inside the Brick Breeden Fieldhouse as the Eagles held the lead after the first ten minutes of play. But, shortly after that, the Bobcats took control of the game and routed the Eags, 79-47. Binford concluded the successful stretch, saying, "I think February is a big month. Obviously, every single game is a grind, but at this time of year, you’ve got to love the people you're around. You’ve got to be really excited to be in a gym and be attack-minded while getting better every day."
The MSU men also defeated U of I last Thursday in Bozeman by a score of 70-52 behind a breakout performance from Spaniard freshman, Borja Fernandez. The Barcelona native had 18 points and 8 rebounds, leading an MSU squad that combined to shoot 60 percent from the field, while dominating on defense in the second half. Head Coach Danny Sprinkle was excited about the team's execution, saying, “That's the thing about the group, they've bought into defense."