Montana topples Portland Pilots: Selvig gets win No. 800
As the closing minutes ticked by, win No. 800 for Robin Selvig looked like it might slip away. But the Lady Griz had a 10-2 run in the final 10 minutes as Montana beat the University of Portland Pilots 68-61 Monday night at the Dahlberg Arena.
It took Selvig just one try to secure the 800th win of his career.
“It’s not 800 wins for Robin Selvig, it’s eight hundred wins for them,” Selvig said in postgame celebration speech in front of 2, 666 fans
Selvig is now one of six active NCAA women’s Division I coaches to reach this mark.
In his 36th season as the head coach, Selvig is now 800-255 in his coaching career. His first win at Montana came on Dec. 6, 1978.
“When the buzzer ended I was just like ‘Woooooo,’ freaking out because that’s so awesome for Rob to be able to hit that mark,” redshirt junior Kellie Cole said. “It’s just really a special benchmark win. To get the win for Rob, it just feels great.”
Monday’s matchup didn’t start well for the Lady Griz. After shooting 25.8 percent in the first half, Montana went into the half with a one point lead, 22-21.
It wasn’t until there were eight minutes left in the game that Montana pulled away. Twenty seconds after freshman Kayleigh Valley entered the game, Valley scored a 3-pointer with an assist from Cole to put the Lady Griz up 43-42. After this, Montana never gave up the lead again.
Freshman Alycia Sims was perfect from the free throw line during the game. She went 7-for-7 and chipped in 10 points to boost Montana to its second regular season home win of the year.
“I just felt that my outside shots weren’t really falling,” said Sims, who had 13 total points. “I knew I needed to do whatever to help the team, so I was trying to get some rebounds and got fouled on a few of them. So that led to the free throws and I knew I needed to knock them down and they went in, so it was nice.”
Cole continued her strong early season performance and had 16 points with nine rebounds. Senior guard Torry Hill added 16 points.
Portland junior Jasmine Wooton had a game-high 20 points and six rebounds.
Wooton opened the scoring with a 3-pointer, but Montana didn’t get on the board until five minutes into the game.
The Lady Griz once again struggled with shooting. The team shot 8-for-31 from the field and 1-for-12 from 3-point range. Portland also struggled shooting 8-of-27 in the first half.
“We just didn’t make any shots the first half,” Selvig said. “They were playing good defense, their quickness threw us off a little bit. We had some turnovers and we just didn’t shoot well. They didn’t either, fortunately.”
The Lady Griz play their next game on Nov. 27 against Denver University in Denver, Colo.
Selvig is happy win No. 800 didn’t have to wait.
“Well I’m really glad we got it the first game because otherwise everyone would have been ‘Is he going to win 800, when are you going to get 800,’” Selvig said. “What’s really nice about it is they’re a really good team, they’re just a real good team and I didn’t know where we were this point in the year. I think we’re going to have a good team, I was impressed by how hard we played and how good of defense we played.”