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Jeanann Lemelin reaching full potential as MSU Billings senior

Posted at 6:26 PM, Jan 29, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-29 21:16:24-05

BILLINGS — MSU Billings knew how big Saturday's game was.

"This was the win that could be the make or break of us going to the conference tournament down the road," said Yellowjackets senior guard Jeanann Lemelin.

Down three at half to Saint Martin's, Lemelin opened the third quarter with a 3 to tie it. Then a couple minutes later, she made another one. And then another one. And then this is what the Jackets' game plan turned into.

"Throw her the ball and cast, I don't care," laughed senior forward Taylor Cunningham. "They're all going in, so it doesn't matter."

When the final buzzer sounded, Lemelin had made eight 3s - seven in the second half alone - to tie Kalli Stanhope's single-game program record. And guess who was there Saturday?

"(Kalli) came up to me after the game and congratulated me and told me that when she broke the previous record, that record-holder was in the stands when she did it, so she said it was fate," Lemelin said.

It might have been. Not only was the 30-point game Lemelin's MSUB career high, she says it's the first time in her life she's ever scored that many. Just in time, according to her head coach.

"There's nobody that's worked harder for a game like that," Kevin Woodin said. "She basically came in as a walk-on. Most people think of her as a defensive specialist, and I've been telling her for a long time that she's a player on both ends."

"I love defense - it's my favorite part of the game," Lemelin said. "I've just had to understand that I'm capable of doing that, and I'm starting to have more confidence in myself."

Lemelin has 10 games left in her career, maybe more if the Jackets can make the GNAC tourney. One thing's for sure: She'll go out the same way she came in.

"This is the last time that I'm ever going to play basketball, so I might as well go out, give it my best, and have some fun while doing it," she said.