MSUB guard Alisha Breen (Photo courtesy MSU Billings)

(MSUB Athletics release)

PORTLAND, Ore. – Three hundred and seventy one days after sustaining a season-ending injury in 2016-17, women’s basketball senior Alisha Breen returned to the court and led Montana State University Billings to a pair of wins to earn her third career Great Northwest Athletic Conference Player of the Week award announced by the conference office Monday.

Breen was named the Most Valuable Player of the West Region Tipoff Classic over the weekend, helping the Yellowjackets claim a 68-65 win over the Academy of Art and a 96-57 triumph over Holy Names University in their first two games of the year.

“I am very happy for Alisha to receive the GNAC Player of the Week award,” said MSUB head coach Kevin Woodin. “The honor is well deserved and she has worked so hard to return to the court this season after last year’s injury. I believe the time she spent away from being on the floor has allowed her to become an even better player.”

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The GNAC Preseason Player of the Year put her talents on display in the first game of the year, rattling off 25 points on five 3-pointers while adding five rebounds and five assists. The Choteau, Mont., native followed that with 19 points, seven rebounds, and a career-best eight assists in just 28 minutes during the rout of Holy Names.

Breen committed just three turnovers in 63 total minutes, while shooting 48.5 percent from the floor (16-for-33) and 57.1 percent from 3-point range (8-for-14). With her four made free throws, Breen moved into a tie for second-most free throws in school history with 347. “It is nice to see Alisha and her team have early-season success,” Woodin said. “She positively impacts the game on both ends of the floor. Additionally, her team-first attitude and leadership qualities are very valuable to our program.”

Breen, who was a first-team all-GNAC forward after her stellar junior season in 2015-16, has now won three career GNAC Player of the Week awards. She claimed the recognition twice during her junior season, on Jan. 18-24, 2016 and Nov. 9-15, 2015.

The Yellowjackets (2-0) make their 2017-18 home regular-season debut this week, with games against Concordia University (Ore.) and Chadron State College at the 2017 Yellowjacket Classic. Tipoff against the Cavaliers is set for 7 p.m. Friday night, and the game against the Eagles will follow on Saturday night at 7 p.m. Live video with play-by-play commentary and live statistics for both games will be available online through MSUB’s Stretch Internet portal here.

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