POCATELLO, Idaho — Montana State senior guard Katie Bussey poured in a school-record 41 points to lift the Bobcats to a 79-67 overtime victory over Big Sky-leading Idaho State on Thursday night.
Montana State (15-7 overall, 7-3 Big Sky) overcame a 16-point first-half deficit by outscoring Idaho State (16-6, 8-1) by ten in the second half, and then putting the hammer down for a 14-2 run in overtime.
“Katie hit two big baskets right before halftime to get us within 10 points,” said MSU head coach Tricia Binford, who became the program’s winningest coach with career win No. 99. “That was huge as it gave us some momentum. We talked at halftime about someone stepping up and making plays.”
Bussey, a native of Alamosa, Colo., took Binford’s challenge to heart and scorched the hosts for 31 points in the second half and overtime period.
Bussey broke the single game mark of 40 points previously held by Cass Bauer (1994) and Marcia Topp (1980). In addition, she tied the all-time Big Sky record held by Shannon Cate (Montana, 1991) and Kelsey Kahle (Portland State, 2007).
“I think it’s pretty cool,” Bussey said. “During the game I had no idea what my stats were. My teammates put their trust in me and I went to work. I wasn’t thinking and did what the team needed me to do.”
Bussey finished the game shooting 11-of-23 from the field and 15-of-18 from the line.
It was Bussey’s heroics that sent the game into overtime when she pulled up for a jumper in the lane with 6.1 seconds remaining to even the score.
MSU’s Rachel Semansky finished the contest with her seventh double-double of the season with 11 points and 16 rebounds.
ISU was paced by Chelsea Pickering’s 15 points and 10 rebounds.
MSU hosts rival Montana Saturday at 2 p.m.