BILLINGS — The day the Montana Western women’s basketball team took the floor in first round NAIA National Tournament, Brianna King was selected as the NAIA player of the Year.

It makes sense since she's leading the fourth-ranked Bulldogs in points, assists and steals this season.

But during the game against Georgetown Kentucky on Wednesday night, Montana Western showed off the supporting cast.

A pack of Bulldogs that included senior forward Tori Anderson, junior Savanna Bignell and sophomore Shannon Worster led the way as Montana Western pushed its way into the second round with a 89-69 victory over Tigers.

Georgetown (21-11) finished fifth in the Mid-South Conference during the regular season.

“Bri is definitely the star but we talked about as a team that she can’t do everything for us,” Anderson said. “That loss in the conference championship was tough for us so as a team we pulled it together.”

Montana Western needed to get familiar with the Rimrock Arena, starting just 1 of 7 from the field and watched the Tigers jump out to a 14-7 lead in the opening six minutes.

But Worster answered with two buckets and the once Georgetown advantage turned into a commanding Bulldogs lead as she sparked a 14-0 run.

King, who scores 22.2 points per game, was quiet because of foul trouble, but the offense kept on rolling.

Anderson added two 3-pointers but also showed off her passing ability dishing out two assists, including a three-quarter-court pass to Worster.

By halftime, Montana Western held a 47-35 lead and Anderson scored nearly half of the points.

“I was actually super nervous before this game because there are a lot of emotions when it comes to your senior year,” said Anderson, who finished with 20 points. “I love this team. They work so hard.”

During the second half, momentum never left the Bulldogs’ side and the lead started to increase with the help of some full court pressure.

The pressure led to senior Cierra Laney hitting a 3-pointer and minutes later King finally made her appearance with a long-distance shot of her own.

The Bulldogs shot 45 percent from behind the 3-point arc coming from six different players.

Anderson led by making three of the team’s 10 3-pointers

“Anderson always shoots well in the building,” Western coach Lindsay Woolley said. “She is a kid that plays with a ton of confidence all the time and when she makes a couple shots, it really gets our team energized.”

Montana Western advances to face the winner of No. 4 Vanguard University and No. 5 Lyon College on Friday. 

“It’s one win but it’s nice to take care of business because you are not sure what you are going to get,” Woolley said. “I thought our kids played hard and I thought they played together.”

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Ryan Kuhn covers Carroll College athletics for the Independent Record and 406mtsports.com. Email him at ryan.kuhn@406mtsports.com or follow him on Twitter at @rskuhn


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