(MSUB Athletics release)
BILLINGS – Alterowitz Gym will be adorned with pink on Thursday night, as the Montana State University Billings women’s basketball team renews its annual partnership with the St. Vincent Healthcare EVA Project for the 2018 edition of Pink Night.
All fans dressed in pink who attend Thursday’s doubleheader, starting with the men’s basketball game at 5:15 p.m., will be admitted free of charge. Additionally, all proceeds from the evening’s games will be donated to the EVA Project, as MSUB provides support for research in the battle against cancer.
“Thursday’s game is a lot of fun in the annual Pink game, and we are really proud to work with the EVA Project to put on the game,” said MSUB head coach Kevin Woodin. “It puts things into perspective, and I hope we can play well that night to honor the survivors.”
The Yellowjacket women host Concordia University in the nightcap of the doubleheader, with tipoff scheduled for 7:30 p.m. MSUB will then play its final home game of the year on Saturday, with another 7:30 p.m. tipoff against Western Oregon University. Live video with play-by-play commentary and live statistics will be available for both nights online through MSUB’s Stretch Internet portal here.
“It’s nice to be home after two weeks on the road, and last week we had one of our best games of the year at Central Washington,” said Woodin. “I expect more tough games this week against Concordia and Western Oregon, and the team that executes the best will come out on top.”
MSUB (17-9, 10-6 GNAC) enters the week in fourth place in the GNAC standings, and can clinch a spot in the Great Northwest Athletic Conference Women’s Basketball Championships with one win over its last four games and one loss by sixth-place Western Washington over its final four games.
SENIOR NIGHT: After Saturday’s game against the Wolves, the five graduating players from MSUB’s program will be honored on Senior Night at Alterowitz Gym. Alisha Breen, Rylee Kane, Lexi Prevost, Grace Weeks, and Rachel Koehler will each be playing in their home gym for the final time, and will be honored in the ceremony. “It’s hard to believe that it’s already Senior Night this year, and this class is one of the best that I have ever coached,” Woodin commented. “All five of them have bonded together to give us great leadership this year, and they have each made an impact on the program in their own way. We want to send them out right on Saturday.”
IN THE REGIONAL HUNT: The initial NCAA D2 west region rankings were unveiled on Wednesday, with the Yellowjackets checking in at the No. 7 spot. The top-8 teams in the rankings at the end of the season will earn a berth into the 2018 NCAA D2 West Region Championships, hosted by the No. 1 overall seed. MSUB also stayed at No. 7 in the latest D2SIDA west region rankings, remaining in the spot they have occupied for the last month.
LAST FIVE: L-L-W-W-L
The ‘Jackets are coming off a road split last week, and have gone 1-1 in each of their last three conference weekends. MSUB completed the season sweep of Central Washington with a 78-58 win last Thursday, before falling at Northwest Nazarene 85-71 on Saturday.
ACADEMIC STANDOUTS: MSUB was the top team among the GNAC academic all-conference squad announced Tuesday, with a league-best 10 players represented. Every player who was eligible to receive the award did so, and Jeanann Lemelin had the top grade point average on the team at 3.92.
BREEN SIXTH PLAYER TO 1,700 POINTS: Last week Breen became the sixth player in GNAC history to reach 1,700 points in a career, and she enters this week’s games with a total of 1,727. She also broke the MSUB career record for games played with 119 through her four seasons, and her 780 career rebounds are fifth most in school history as well.
GNAC Women’s Basketball Career Scoring Leaders (as of Feb. 14, 2018)
Rank Name School Points Seasons
1 Erin Chambers Simon Fraser 1946 2011-15
2 Taylor Peacocke Western Washington 1940 2013-17
3 Bobbi Knudsen MSU Billings 1831 2010-14
4 Jordan Wilson Alaska 1783 2013-17
5 Rebecca Kielpinski Alaska Anchorage 1752 2005-09
6 Alisha Breen MSU Billings 1727 2013-15, 17-18
7 Rose Shaw Central Washington 1696 1998-2002
8 Amanda Dunbar Western Washington 1654 2007-11
9 Katie Benson Seattle Pacific 1645 2010-14
10 Nicole Lynch Humboldt State 1623 2001-05
Breen continues to rank among national leaders in a multitude of categories, as she is No. 14 in points per game with 19.9 and No. 4 in made free throws with 152. On the regional scope, Breen is second in scoring and total points, and leads the pack in total free throws made. The senior has had three consecutive double-doubles and 13 total on the year, which is the second-most double-doubles in the conference and 10th most in the nation.
MSUB Women’s Basketball Career Games Played Leaders (2/14/18)
Rank Name Games Seasons
1 Alisha Breen 119 2013-15, 17-18
2 Bobbi Knudsen 118 2011-14
Kayleen Goggins 118 2012-15
Quinn Peoples 118 2012-15
5 Alicia Cahill 116 1996-99
Amy Winslow 116 1996-99
7 Shantell Marquis 115 2006-11
8 Janiel Olson 114 2012-14, 16
Kami Malnaa 114 2004-07
Jennifer Skrifvars 114 2004-07
Rylee Kane 114 2014-18
KANE REACHES 1,000 POINTS: Pushing her streak of double-figure scoring performances to five games, senior point guard Rylee Kane reached 1,000 career points last week with 29 total in the team’s two games. Kane also had a dozen assists to push her career total to 512, and her total of 128 helpers this year is tied for 20th in the country. Kane enters the week with 114 career starts, which is No. 4 in GNAC history. Kane is second in the conference this season with 4.9 assists per game, and has climbed to No. 15 in the league with 12.2 points per game.
MSUB Career Assists Leaders (2/14/18)
Rank Name Assists Seasons
1 Amy Winslow 589 1996-99
2 Bobbi Knudsen 532 2011-14
3 Rylee Kane 512 2014-18
4 Shantell Marquis 472 2006-11
5 Tera Silvius 448 1992-95
6 Shiloh Schwab 399 1994-98
7 Megan Mason-Dickerson 355 1995-98
8 Jenny Langofrd 291 2003-06
9 Jetton Meadors 282 2006-09
10 Evonne Goroski 272 1985-88
STAVISH HAS TOP SCORING WEEKEND OF THE YEAR: Junior forward Vanessa Stavish posted back-to-back 17-point performances last week for her top scoring weekend of the season. The Frenchtown, Mont., native was just one off her career high in each game last week, making 12 of 22 shots overall from the field and 8 of 16 threes. Stavish is now 88-for-257 in her career from 3-point range, with her percentage of 34.2 from the arc ranking tied for 10th in school history. She is also third on the team with 9.3 points per game, while ranking second in rebounding with 4.7 boards.
PREVOST COMES ALIVE IN COMEBACK: Senior Lexi Prevost helped the ‘Jackets erase a 20-point halftime deficit in the loss at Northwest Nazarene, as she knocked down three 3-pointers and wrapped up her weekend with 16 total points. Prevost has started every game of the year along with Breen, Kane, and Stavish, and ranks fourth on the team in scoring with 6.2 points. Prevost’s 32 made threes are third most on the team as well, and overall she is hitting at a clip of 34.0 percent from beyond the arc.
KOEHLER MAKES IMPACT VS. CWU: Rachel Koehler posted one of her most productive performances of the year in 10 minutes off the bench against Central Washington, matching her season high with seven points while chipping in five rebounds. While seeing time in 16 games this year, Koehler ranks third on the team with 4.6 rebounds per game.
Concordia University Cavaliers
Thursday, Feb. 15 – 7:30 PM – Alterowitz Gym
2017-18 Record: 13-12, 7-10 GNAC
Last Five: W-L-L-W-L
Head Coach: Sean Kelly, 4th season
2016-17 Record: 12-16, 9-11 GNAC (8th place)
Previous Meetings: MSUB 72, CU 65 (Nov. 17, 2017 at Billings, MT) | MSUB 69, CU 61 (Jan. 20 at Portland, OR)
Concordia will be no unfamiliar foe for the ‘Jackets on Thursday, as it will mark the third meeting of the year between the ‘Jackets and Cavaliers. The teams first squared off in a non-conference game in Billings on Nov. 17, before the ‘Jackets claimed a 69-61 win in Portland two months later.
Since then, CU has gone 2-5 and is battling to gain entry into the GNAC Championships. The ‘Cavs are coming off a 65-62 defeat at home against Western Oregon on Tuesday night, and have lost three of their last four over the last two weeks.
Junior Bailey Cartwright leads Concordia with 14.1 points and 11.0 rebounds per game, the latter mark standing as the best in the GNAC. Cartwright is the only player in the conference with more double-doubles than Breen (16), and she has started all 25 games this season.
Danielle Hartzog ranks second in the league in scoring with 15.5 points per game, while also chipping in 3.5 rebounds and 2.2 assists. Point guard Keesha Sarman leads the conference with 5.1 assists per game, and has started all 25 games while playing a team-high 32.2 minutes. The top perimeter shooter for the Cavaliers is Kizzah Maltezo, who hits at a clip of 34.2 and leads the GNAC with 52 makes from long distance.
The ‘Cavs are out-scoring their opponents 69.0-64.8 this year, and have owned the boards with a margin of 41.9-36.7. CU is shooting 38.5 percent from the field, 31.0 percent from long distance, and 69.5 percent from the foul line.
The Series: MSUB is now 5-1 in the all-time series after the two previous wins this season. The ‘Jackets have never lost at home with a perfect 3-0 record.
Last Time Out: Breen had a 17-point, 13-rebound double-double, while Kane added 15 points and Grace Weeks had a dozen for the ‘Jackets. Hartzog led all players with 25 points, and Cartwright had a 14-point, 10-rebound double-double.
Western Oregon University Wolves
Saturday, Feb. 17 – 7:30 PM – Alterowitz Gym
2017-18 Record: 10-13, 6-11 GNAC
Last Five: L-L-W-L-W
Head Coach: Holli Howard-Carpenter, 5th season
2016-17 Record: 8-19, 4-16 GNAC (10th place)
First Meeting: MSUB 65, WOU 56 (Jan. 18 at Monmouth, OR)
WOU is still alive in the race towards the conference tournament with wins in two of its last three games. The Wolves close the regular season at Seattle Pacific and Saint Martin’s next week after Saturday’s game in Billings.
The Wolves are led by a pair of double-figure scorers, with Savannah Heugly at 11.5 points per game and Sydney Azorr close behind with 10.1. Heugly also paces the team with 6.0 rebounds, 41 steals, and a dozen blocks.
Shelby Snook is one of the team’s perimeter threats with a team-high 28 makes from beyond the arc. She and Azorr are also stellar foul shooters, at 86.7 percent and 87.7 percent, respectively. Snook also facilitates the offense with a team-leading 63 assists on the season.
Keyonna Jones is another key guard for the Wolves, as she is second on the team with 39 assists and is contributing 6.7 points per game.
WOU is being out-scored by the opposition 68.4-65.2, but is holding its own in rebounding at 40.2-39.3. The Wolves shoot 36.9 percent from the floor, 26.6 percent from 3-point range, and rank second in the GNAC from the foul line at 78.5 percent.
The Series: MSUB is 25-6 all-time against WOU and has a 12-2 record in home games against the Wolves. The Yellowjackets have won five in a row, nine of the last 10, and 14 of the last 16 games dating back to the 2010 season.
Last Time Out: Breen had 19 points, Kane added 16, and Taylor Cunningham had a dozen in the road win for the ‘Jackets. Natalie DeLonge led WOU with 16 points, while Azorr grabbed a team-high 11 rebounds in the game.