(MSU Billings release)
BILLINGS – After finding themselves down by 21 at the half, the Montana State University Billings Yellowjackets (11-8, 3-5 GNAC) made seven second-half 3-pointers in a 100-91 loss to the first-place Western Washington Vikings (14-3, 8-0 GNAC) on Saturday night in Alterowitz Gym.
Two freshman led the Yellowjackes offense on the night with Kobe Terashima scoring 16 of his career-high 20 points in the second half in which MSUB outscored WWU 57-45. The point guard was a perfect 6-for-6 from the free throw line and finished the game with six rebounds and three assists.
Zharon Richmond matched Terashima’s stat line recording a 20 point and six rebound night of his own while working against the tallest front line in the Great Northwest Athletic Conference. The Billings native delivered the play of the night as he flushed home a one-handed slam over the Viking’s defense keeping the ‘Jackets close at the mid-way point of the first half.
The Vikings responded to the slam with a 13-3 run that put them in the driver’s seat for the remainder of the first half. WWU capitalized on poor shooting from the ‘Jackets who made just 10 of 28 shots while shooting 2-for-13 from beyond the arc during the first 20 minutes of play. Richmond led the way with his post success netting him 12 first-half points while no other Yellowjacket scored more than five in the opening period.
Zack Rollins and Kendall Denham sparked the offense in the second half combining for 25 points while shooting 6 of 10 from three. MSUB was still down 17 after Denham made a three with 5:26 remaining in the game but the fifth-year senior would lead the charge with eight points in the final six minutes of play.
A pair of Terashima free throws would cut the lead to seven with 1:37 left in the game but the ‘Jackets couldn’t pull any closer.
Kamal Tall and Daniel Sheeden each scored seven points for MSUB’s second unit who combined with Terashima to outscore the Viking’s bench 34-23. Both teams finished the night with 12 turnovers with the ‘Jackets scoring 21 points in transition compared to 19 for the Vikings.
Western Washington finished the game shooting 59 percent but were held to just 3-for-15 from beyond the arc.
The Yellowjackets be in Washington next week for games against Seattle Pacific (10-4, 5-2 GNAC) and Saint Martin’s (10-5, 3-4 GNAC). MSUB suffered two losses on the trip to SPU and SMU last season.