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Bobcats feel pressure of finals week as big basketball weekend looms

Published On: Dec 24 2013 06:01:33 PM MST   Updated On: Dec 12 2013 11:20:47 PM MST

The Montana State women haven't played in a basketball game since December 1st when they beat Valpraiso in an overtime game in Miami. You may think the ladies have enjoyed their long break, but they have had to balance preparing for two games this weekend with finals week.

"Just the mental aspect is really hard," said MSU junior Jackie Elliot. "We're drained all day from studying for our finals, working on everything. Then we have to come and focus huge on basketball because we understand these two games are very important in our season."

As if studying for finals wasn't enough, the Lady Bobcats have to prepare for two teams this weekend that they haven't played in years. MSU hasn't played Seattle in two years and a match-up with Washington predates the schools archived basketball schedules that go back to 2005, so quite a while.

"It is tough," Elliot said. "It is and the coaches get on us but they understand that we're coming off a mental drainage, but it's difficult."

"You know the team does a really fantastic job, typically you can tell the wear and tear mentally," said MSU Women's head coach Tricia Binford. "Their brains might be fried so to speak but we've had really productive practices."

While it may be stressful for most of the players on the team, others have enjoyed a much more relaxing week.

"My finals have been easier than my finals in high school," said MSU sophomore Jasmine Hommes. "So this week I've just been focusing on basketball. Gonna have two huge games this weekend playing U.W and Seattle U. They're both very talented teams."

The team now looks towards Seattle Saturday and Washington Sunday and though they may be tired, they can't take a catnap this weekend.

"We're constantly going over what their offense is, what they do on defense," Hommes said. "We always do our regular scout and review and we're always going into the games prepared. All those past games don't matter, it's what we do on Saturday and Sunday."

"We have the PAC-12 we're playing in the second day, back to back games," said Elliot. "We're gonna be tired. We've been practicing for that for two weeks now, so I feel like this break has been good."