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MSU Billings' Kola Bad Bear garners Great Northwest Athletic Conference player of the week nod

Kola BadBear.jpg
Posted at 3:27 PM, Feb 26, 2024

(Editor's note: MSU Billings Athletics release.)

PORTLAND, Ore. — Kola Bad Bear was announced Monday as the Great Northwest Athletic Conference women's basketball player of the week after helping Montana State Billings clinch a share of the GNAC regular season championship.

It is the second player of the week selection this season for Bad Bear, who previously earned the honor for the week of Dec. 4-10.

“Kola had an amazing week,” said MSUB head coach Kevin Woodin. “She was a major reason our team was able to get two hard fought GNAC conference wins. Kola has been a great addition to our women’s basketball program and has bought in to our “team first” philosophy. She has impacted our team in a positive manner both on and off the court. Kola is a tremendous student-athlete, competitor, leader and teammate.”

Bad Bear, who transferred from Division I Montana State prior to this season, opened the week’s games on Thursday by helping the Yellowjackets defeat their closest competition in the GNAC this season in Western Washington, which was ranked No. 13 in the WBCA polls coming into the game.

Bad Bear scored 11 points, shooting 5-for-9 from the field. Her last two points were the game’s most important, putting in the game winning shot with 1.7 seconds remaining to give MSUB a 48-46 victory.

She followed that performance up on Saturday with her sixth double-double of the season, totaling 18 points and 10 rebounds in MSUB’s 86-59 victory over Simon Fraser. Bad Bear also finished with five assists in the game, and three steals.

In total over the week’s games, she averaged 14.5 points per game, shooting 52.9% from the field, and making 100% of her 3-point and free throw attempts.

The Yellowjackets (24-4, 15-1 GNAC) need to win one of their remaining games to finish the season in sole possession of first place in the conference. They head north this week to conclude their regular season in Alaska, taking on Alaska Fairbanks on Thursday and Alaska Anchorage on Saturday. Both games are scheduled to tip off at 7:15 p.m. Mountain time.