When you open a game and 71.4% from the floor and get 16 in the first period from your star, you like to believe that the rest of the game is a walk in the park. The Bears did just that on Monday night picking up a 79 to 61 victory over the visiting Montana Grizzlies. It was a night where the Bears played with a short bench, missing Krystal Leger-Walker with an injury. They had eight suited up and played 7. But in reality, it was the Savannah Smith show.
Smith started hot, cooled off a bit and then finished the night with a single-game school record 40 points. Nothing the Griz could throw at her defensively stopped her, and if they did she was able to dish the ball off to her teammates for the assist. Smith finished with a stat line like you would see in a pro game, going 12 of 22 from the floor, 7 of 16 from behind the three point, and a perfect 9 for 9 from the free throw line to finish with those 40. She added 6 assists and 7 rebounds to her totals.
The Bears also got a solid night from Alexis Chapman finishing with 14 points and Micayla Isenbart with 10. Ali Meyer cleaned the glass and collected 10 rebounds to pace the Bears. UNC outplayed the Griz from the start to the finish, and it was a game where the intensity and grit of the Bears was evident. With four games remaining for the Bears they are cemented into the top five going into the tournament and will have three of their final four on the road.
The Bears work their way to the Big Sky Tournament, which starts on 11 March with road games at Idaho State, Weber State, and Northern Arizona. They have their final home game of the season when they welcome in Southern Utah on March 7th. Check out more at uncbears.com.