GUAYNABO, Puerto Rico (WSU Athletics) – Mariah McCully was the hero in the first game of the Puerto Rico Coqui Classic. McCully followed her own miss with what proved to be the game-winning basket with only 1.3 seconds remaining in regulation to lift Wichita State over Montana State, 66-64, Friday afternoon.
Wichita State (7-4) led for a majority of the game until a furious rally saw Montana State take a three-point lead into the final minute. Wichita State would have the final possession and only 6.4 seconds remaining. McCully received the inbounds pass at the top of the key and drove into the lane putting up a floater that came up short, but the junior collected her own miss in the air and scored it with a second on the clock.
Carla Bremaud collected her third game in double figures with a season-high tying 15 points. Ashley Reid finished with 10 points on a perfect 4-of-4 shooting, marking her second straight game with 10 or more points. McCully extended her double-figure streak to four straight games after scoring 10 points, none bigger than the game winner.
The Shockers overcame a poor shooting day at the free throw, going just 13-of-27, while Montana State converted on 16 of its 20 attempts. Wichita State made 40 percent of its field goal attempts to the Bobcats’ 38 percent.
Montana State was led by Fallyn Freije’s 14 points and eight rebounds. Darian White and Oliana Squires added 12 and 11, respectively.
Wichita State led 19-11 after the first 10 minutes thanks to a 7-0 run to close the quarter. The Shockers held Montana State scoreless with three turnovers over the final 2:41 to take its largest lead of the frame.
Bremaud knocked down a pair of three-pointers in the opening quarter despite either team shooting above the 40 percent mark.
A Seraphine Bastin jumper opened the second quarter to give the Shockers a double-digit lead. Later in the quarter a Raven Prince offensive rebound and score, followed by another Brewer triple upped the margin to 33-19.
Bremaud’s third three-pointer of the half answered a Bobcat trey to keep the lead at 14. Shyia Smith split two free throws to finish the first half scoring for WSU, as Montana State trimmed the lead to single digits, 37-29.
The Shockers forced 11 MSU first half turnovers and held the Bobcats to 38 percent shooting. Off those turnovers, Wichita State turned it directly into 14 points. Wichita State finished half at 43 percent from the field, including a 5-of-14 mark from downtown.
Montana State looked to build some momentum to start the second half following a three-point play that made it a six-point game, but Ashley Reid came right back with a three-pointer plus the foul, making it 43-34.
A scoreless drought of nearly three minutes saw MSU bring it within four until Maya Brewer hit 3-of-4 free throws in back-to-back trips, making it 51-44 with a minute left in the quarter. At the end of three quarters the Shockers led 52-46.
The Bobcats continued to fight back as play moved to the final period. Wichita State’s lead was cut to 55-52 after an MSU three-point play. Mariah McCully’s driving layup finally snapped a Bobcat 6-0 run and scoring drought of three-plus minutes.
MSU’s push finally put them back in the lead for the first time since the first quarter after a 7-0 spurt, making it 62-58 with 3:08 on the clock. With Montana State up by three, 64-61, and the Shockers in need of a bucket, Bremaud’s three-pointer from the left wing tied the game at 64 with 37 second left.
On the ensuing possession and a chance to retake the lead, Montana State came up empty as WSU forced a shot clock violation, setting up McCully for the game winner.
Wichita State takes on Virginia Tech (8-1) tomorrow at 10 a.m. CDT/12 p.m. AST in its final game of the Puerto Rico Coqui Classic.