(Editor's note: MSUB Athletics release)
PORTLAND, Ore. – Eight players from the Montana State University Billings women’s basketball team earned academic all-Great Northwest Athletic Conference honors announced by the conference office on Wednesday.
Two repeat selections and six first-time picks comprised the list of Yellowjackets to earn the award, which is given to players who maintain a cumulative grade point average of 3.20 or higher, are in at least their second year on the team, and have competed on the floor during the season. “Congratulations to our eight players who earned academic all-conference honors,” said MSUB head coach Kevin Woodin. “It is very difficult to play collegiate athletics and excel at a high level in the classroom at the same time. Our players understand the importance of academic success and graduating and academic success will always be the foundation for our program.”
Seniors Taryn Shelley and Shannon Reny were among 13 players in the conference to receive the honor for at least the third time in their careers. Shelley will graduate with her degree in elementary education, and holds a 3.60 grade point average. Shelley leads the team with 13.9 points per game and in rebounding with 7.5 boards per game, and has started all 22 of the Yellowjackets’ games this season.
Reny is a health and human performance major and holds a near-perfect 3.99 GPA. Reny is averaging 9.7 minutes per game, and has seen minutes in all 22 games.
Addison Gardner, MSUB’s other senior, was also recognized as she carries a 3.23 GPA while majoring in health and human performance. The Great Falls native, who is set to return to the court from an injury this week, averaged 2.3 points and started all 14 games prior to her injury.
Juniors Cariann Kunkel and Skylar Patton each received the honor in their first year of eligibility, after each transferring to MSUB during the 2020-21 academic year. Kunkel is a marketing major with a 3.85 GPA, and ranks second on the team with 12.4 points per game and 5.4 rebounds per game. Patton is studying psychology and holds a 3.41 GPA. She has played in all 22 games with a pair of starts, and is third on the team with 40 assists.
Third-year sophomore Danielle Zahn earned academic honors for the first time, maintaining a 3.22 GPA while working towards a degree in health and human performance. Zahn has started 19 games and is fourth on the team with 7.0 points per game while leading the squad with 75 assists.
Second-year freshmen Dyauni Boyce and Kortney Nelson each received the academic award as well, after breaking into the team during the 2020-21 season. Boyce is an elementary education major with a 3.90 GPA, who has played in 21 games and averages 5.0 points and 3.0 rebounds. Nelson carries a 3.70 GPA while also studying elementary education, and is third on the team with 5.0 rebounds to go along with 6.4 points.
The Yellowjackets (14-8, 8-3 GNAC) are next in action on Thursday night hosting Saint Martin’s University at Alterowitz Gym with a 7 p.m. tipoff. The team’s final home game will follow on Saturday at 7 p.m. against Western Oregon, with MSUB’s three seniors being honored after the game.