State had two others in double-digits in the scoring column. Tournament MVP Tan White scored 19 points, grabbed nine rebounds, and had four blocks, while Jennifer Fambrough contributed 18 points and seven boards.
The Maroon and White took a slim 36-32 lead in to the locker room at halftime and then jumped out to an early 10-point lead in the opening minutes of the second half, 44-34, but the Lady Griz scored 10 unanswered points to tie the game at 44 apiece.
Thomas's free throw with 1:21 left tied the game at 61-61 and would be the final points of the second half. The Lady Bulldogs outscored Montana 17-12 in the extra five minutes of play.
The overtime contest was MSU's first since 2000, when the Lady Bulldogs defeated Auburn, 74-68, on Jan. 27. It was the second time State took a game to overtime in the MSU Classic with the first being a 80-79 double overtime victory over Southern University in 1984.
In the consolation game, Houston defeated Jacksonville State 95-69. Chandi Jones led the Cougars with 26 points, while Valerie Muoneke chipped in 22 points and grabbed 17 boards. Also in double figures for Houston was Shondra Bush with 15 and Nicole Oliver with 10.
Jacksonville State was led by Kelly Nye with 17 poiints. Latasha Mathis recorded a double-double for the Lady Gamecocks with 13 points and 11 rebounds. Shanika Freeman chipped in 11 points.
Also on the all-tournament team were Hollie Tyler and Cheryl Keller from Montana as well as Jones from Houston.
The Lady Bulldogs travel to Cancun, Mexico next week for the Sports Tours International Tournament. State will take on Pittsburgh on Dec. 20 at 6 p.m. and North Carolina State on Dec. 21 at 3 p.m. Neither contest will be available on radio but all results can be found on the internet at http://www.mstateathletics.com.