She could have let her pass.
Annie DePuydt had already buried a 3-pointer from the right corner to give her team a 33-point lead in a game that was decided in the opening minutes of the first half.
With a big lead, why risk injury?
Not many would have noticed if she casually stepped aside and let her opponent have a free path to basket.
But the ones who mean the most to DePuydt would have seen it.
“If I didn’t, I was going to get my butt chewed,” she said with a grin.
Plus, that’s not how she is wired.
So DePuydt braced herself and drew the charge from Mariah Gondeiro of Rocky Mountain College.
“I sacrificed my body, and luckily, it went my way,” said the junior for Montana State Billings.
It was one small play of many that carried the Yellowjackets to an easy 85-58 win over the Battlin’ Bears on Monday night at Alterowitz Gymnasium in women’s basketball.
The win gave MSUB (4-2) a sweep of the home-and-home series. It was an exhibition game for Rocky.
DePuydt finished with 11 points and a team-high eight rebounds. She also played a team-high 30 minutes.
“My job is to get back on defense,’’ she said. “I knew I had to defend. I was thinking, ‘If I don’t take this charge, she’ll probably get the basket.’
“Just because we have a big lead doesn’t mean we’re not going to work any harder. We want to get better.”
The play early in the second half caught the attention of the MSUB coaching staff.
“I took a timeout to celebrate the play,” said Yellowjacket head coach Kevin Woodin. “I added that we could have had two or three more players back on defense.
“That’s just who Annie is: A tough Hi-Line kid from a great family. She’s just starting to realize how good she can really be.”
DePuydt was one of five MSUB players to finish in double figures. Chelsea Banis and Kayleen Goggins had 15 apiece, while Tenika Capouch came off the bench to add 14. Quinn Peoples also had 11, including three 3-pointers.
“Our focus was to get the ball inside,” said DePuydt.