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Final 4: Drama-Filled 'Road to Reno' begins to narrow

On the second day of the Big Sky Women's Basketball Tournament, four teams were sent home, including one in huge upset fashion.

Paul Halfacre-USA TODAY Sports

For the remaining teams in the Big Sky Conference Tournament, the sky truly is the limit.

In the quarterfinal round of the tournament, we saw another record fall, and we saw an upset by a team that under the previous format wouldn't have made the tournament.

Let's get to the results of Wednesday's quarterfinal action.


After pulling off the impossible and winning the top seed in the tournament, Montana State got some well needed rest.

From what it looked like a majority of the game, Montana State was on cruise control to Friday's semifinals. However, Idaho State was not about to go home quietly. With 1:23 left in the fourth quarter and Montana State holding a 50-42 lead, the Bengals went on a 10-0 run, capped by a three-pointer by Juliet Jones to win the game 52-50.

The game was a defensive tug-of-war, with both teams shooting under 30 percent from the field. Apiphany Woods led Idaho State with 11 points, while teammate Anna Polichiccio finished with 17 rebounds. The Bengals will move on to the semifinal game on Friday, playing against no. 4 North Dakota at 12:05 p.m.


For Montana, the chance at repeating as conference champs was just a basket away. North Dakota was not about to give them the chance.

After a furious fourth quarter that saw the Lady Griz outscore the Fighting Hawks 25-14, Montana wasn't able to capitalize on a late 62-60 lead. In the final minute, North Dakota went on a 5-0 run to win the game, 65-62, and advance to the semifinal game on Friday.

Samantha Roscoe and Makailah Dyer led North Dakota with 16 points a piece, while unanimous all-Big Sky selection Kayleigh Valley led Montana with 30 points, one of only two Lady Griz to score in double-figures (McCalle Feller).


Two days after setting a record for combined points in a game, the Sacramento State Hornets were at it again, but on the wrong end.

After setting the Big Sky Conference record with 102 points in their opening round win over Southern Utah, the Hornets (14-17) held a four-point lead with two minutes left to go in the fourth quarter before Eastern Washington (20-11), led by the Hodgins sisters, Delaney and Hayley, went on a 9-2 run to win their quarterfinal game 100-97.

The Hodgins sisters combined for 53 points while teammate Ashli Payne finished with 19 points and 18 rebounds for Eastern Washington. Sac State was led by Maranne Johnson with 25 points, and Adella Randle-El's 20 points, nine rebounds, seven assists, and two steals. Eastern Washington moves on to the semifinal round, where there will play no. 3 Idaho.


For being the final game of the night, the Weber State Wildcats and Idaho Vandals knew how to bring the drama.

Weber State had the game handled with as much as seven minutes left in the game, holding a 67-58 lead, but Idaho fought back and turned the game into an overtime affair. In the overtime, Idaho went 5-of-6 from the free throw line, and had the game tied at 83 with 1:31 left. With literally no time left on the buzzer, guard Taylor Pierce hit a fadeaway three-pointer to win it for Idaho 86-83.

Idaho's Mikayla Ferenz led all scorers with 29 points, while Deeshyra Thomas had 24 for Weber State. Idaho will play the 2:35 p.m. semifinal game on Friday.

All of Friday's games can be streamed via