WHITEFISH -- Jamal Stephenson and Natali Denning of Montana Western have been named the Frontier Conference men's and women's basketball players of the week, the league announced Monday.
Stephenson, a 6-foot-3 junior guard from Skokie, Ill., scored 17 points and pulled down five rebounds as the Western men made their 2020-21 season debut with a 66-56 victory over Yellowstone Christian College. Stephenson was 5 of 13 from the field and a perfect 6 of 6 from the free throw line.
The Western men (1-0) have had the bulk of their December schedule wiped out by COVID-19 cancellations. According to their online schedule, the Bulldogs have had seven games canceled. Frontier Conference games scheduled with Montana Tech for Dec. 12 and 13 have also been postponed, meaning the next game on Western's schedule is Jan. 4, 2021 at Rocky Mountain College.
Denning, a 6-foot sophomore from Tualatin, Ore., averaged 16.5 points, 3.5 rebounds, two assists and two steals per game to help the Western women to a pair of victories over College of Idaho. The Bulldogs won 83-51 on Saturday and 72-52 on Sunday. For the weekend, Denning was 10 of 17 (59 percent) from the field, including 4 of 6 from 3-point range. Denning was 9 of 13 from free throw line.
The Western women (2-0) are scheduled to open Frontier Conference play with home games against Montana Tech on Dec. 12 and 13.