CollegeMontana Grizzlies


Montana Lady Griz add three Division I transfers for upcoming season

Montana Lady Griz logo
Posted at 6:59 PM, May 22, 2024

(Editor's note: Montana Athletics release.)

MISSOULA — The Montana women’s basketball program has added three transfers to its roster for the upcoming season. The players arrive from Iowa State, Stephen F. Austin and Xavier.

Izabella Zingaro, a 6-foot-4 forward from Bolton, Ontario, spent parts of four seasons at Iowa State after averaging 23.6 points and 15.3 rebounds as a junior at Caledon Academy.

When her senior year of high school basketball was canceled because of COVID-19, she enrolled early at Iowa State, in January 2021. She played 41 games for the Cyclones over the 2021-22 and 2022-23 seasons. She stepped away from basketball in November.

She graduated from Iowa State earlier this month and will have two seasons of eligibility remaining at Montana.

“She came out of Canada as one of the most highly ranked recruits in the entire country. She was a dominant force her last year of high school basketball,” said Lady Griz coach Brian Holsinger, who brought in Maggie Espenmiller-McGraw last spring from Iowa State.

“She is left-handed but can finish with her left or right hand. She is really strong and physical but has great touch at the same time and really good footwork and range out to the 3. I’m excited to see how someone who can score inside with her back to the basket can help the Lady Griz.”

Tyler McCliment-Call is a 6-foot guard from Spokane, Wash. She spent one year at Portland, the last three at Stephen F. Austin. She will have one year of eligibility remaining at Montana.

She played in the Women’s Basketball Invitational with the Pilots in 2020-21 and was part of Stephen F. Austin teams that went 77-24 the last three seasons and played in one NCAA tournament and one WNIT.

She was a starter the last two seasons, when she averaged 7.8 points, 4.0 rebounds and made 101 3-pointers.

“She will bring a level of experience at the guard spot that we need,” said Holsinger. “She is physical and tough and has played a lot of college basketball games. She has played on really good teams that have won at a high level.”

McCliment-Call is a graduate of Spokane’s University High. Her mom played basketball at Gonzaga, her dad played baseball at Eastern Washington.

“She wanted to get closer to home,” added Holsinger. “She’s excited to be part of this program. We’re getting an experienced guard on the wing who I think we’ll be able to count on. She does everything you want her to do.”

Aby Shubert, a 5-foot-8 guard from Kasson, Minn., played one season at Xavier. She will have three years remaining at Montana.

She averaged 21 points as a junior at Kasson-Mantorville High on 44.0 percent shooting from the 3-point line. She missed her senior year due to an injury.

Shubert, who played in the highly respected Minnesota Fury AAU program, played in 20 of 28 games last season at Xavier.

“She was recruited by a lot of schools coming out of high school because of her ability to shoot the three,” said Holsinger, whose team last season ranked second nationally in 3-pointers made (10.8/g).

“It’s what she loves to do and what we were looking for. We have really good size and really good athleticism. We wanted someone who can really knock down shots. Just a great fit and an awesome kid. All three of them are.”

Montana went 23-10 last season and advanced to the WNIT, the first postseason appearance for the Lady Griz since playing in the NCAA tournament in 2015.

Montana loses its top two scorers from that team and four of its top six. Haley Huard, who graduates in December, also will not return next season.

Mack Konig, the 2023 Big Sky Freshman of the Year, and Dani Bartsch, second-team All-Big Sky last season, both started all 33 games last season. MJ Bruno started 22.

Montana signed 6-foot-3 guard Avery Waddington (Coeur d’Alene, Idaho) to a National Letter of Intent in November, 5-foot-9 guard Kavanah Lene (Christchurch, New Zealand) to an NLI this spring.