(MSUB Athletics release)
LACEY, Wash. – Dropping their third consecutive Great Northwest Athletic Conference game on Saturday, the Montana State University Billings Yellowjackets (11-10, 3-7 GNAC) suffered a 75-69 loss at the hands of Saint Martin’s University (13-5, 6-4 GNAC). The Saints had four players score in double digits as SMU shot 48.3 percent from the field as a team.
“It was a tail of two halves for us tonight,” Jamie Stevens said after the ‘Jackets were outscored by 13 points in the final 20 minutes. “Similar to Thursday, we just couldn’t get enough stops in the second half and you have to give credit to Saint Martin’s for playing tougher down the stretch. We have dug ourselves a hole in the GNAC but I believe we have the guys on this team to turn it around and make a run to the GNAC Tournament. To do that, we are going to have to be tougher.”
The ‘Jackets led 33-26 at the half after heating up from beyond the arc in the later minutes of the period. Trailing 20-17, Tyler Green sunk the first of four 3-pointers the ‘Jackets would make in the final seven minutes of the half. Zack Rollins and Kendahll Denham would each hit one before a three from Sven Jeuschede gave the ‘Jackets a 29-26 advantage. Free throws from Kobe Terashima and a jumper from Rollins gave MSUB a seven-point lead at the break but it wouldn’t last.
Rollins and Denham shouldered the load for the MSUB offense as the duo scored 33 and made 11 of 20 shots in the game. Rollins finished the night with a season-high four steals and added five rebounds to his team-leading 17 points. Denham collected three assists and scored 16 points for the Yellowjackets.
Senior forward Kamal Tall led the team with eight rebounds and two blocks while adding three points in the post. Zharon Richmond scored the majority of his nine points from the free throw line where he made 5 of 6 attempts. The freshman finished the night with four rebounds.
MSUB’s offense had trouble moving the ball as they tied a season low with eight assists in the contest. Terashima led the team with four assists, as he and Denham combined for seven and Rollins added one.
Luke Chavez scored 15 points to lead the Saints followed by Jordan Kitchen with 14. SMU shot 62 percent in the second half to seal the victory. The Saints recorded a 36-29 rebound advantage and added five blocks to their defensive efforts.
Next week will be the second to last GNAC road trip of the season for MSUB as they visit Northwest Nazarene on Thursday and Central Washington on Saturday. The ‘Jackets defeated the Nighthawks 99-88 in Billings in the first meeting with NNU this season and fell to the Wildcats 80-75 on Dec. 14.