(MSU Billings release)
BILLINGS – It was the final game of Kendall Denham, Kamal Tall and Jordan Perry’s career on Saturday night as the Montana State University Billings Yellowjackets (13-18, 5-15 Great Northwest Athletic Conference) fell 59-52 to the Alaska Anchorage Seawolves (15-13, 11-9 GNAC). All three seniors started the game and Denham led the trio with 10 points and eight rebounds in the contest.
“These seniors have been awesome for us,” head coach Jamie Stevens said after the game. “Kendall was great tonight and played extremely hard. He and Jordan have been here for five years, they’re both going to graduate and Kamal has been with us for three years and he is going to get his degree as well. These are all guys who have been here for a while, they’re not one-year guys and they have made their mark on our program. These are three really good people who are going to be successful at whatever they do.”
After being honored before the game, Denham hit the first bucket of the game when he sunk a corner three as the shot clock wound down to give MSUB an early lead. Anchorage imposed their persistently slow pace on the game but the Yellowjackets battled hard in the first half as they made six 3-pointers and trailed 29-28 at the half.
“I was proud about how hard the guys came out and fought, they really had great energy in the first half,” Stevens added. “We’re just offensively challenged right now, when you lose guys like Tyler Green, Daniel Shedden and David Simental it’s a lot to ask guys to make up for. They played hard, defended and rebounded well but we just haven’t had enough offensive pop.”
Sven Jeuschede and Kobe Terashima provided some quick offense in the second half with Terashima giving MSUB their final lead of the game when he started the period with a layup. Jeuschede hit three 3-pointers in the final 12 minutes of the game including one that cut the lead to 44-42 with nine minutes left in the game. Jeuschede finished the night with a team-best 12 points.
Terashima had eight of his 11 points in the second half and collected six rebounds and six assists in the game. It is the fifth time this season that the freshman has had five or more assists and rebounds in the same game. He finishes the season with 136 assists and 117 rebounds.
The play of the game came off of Denham’s sole assist of the game after the point guard grabbed a lose rebound and dished a perfect lob to Zharon Richmond who finished with two hands at the rim. Richmond had five points and three rebounds in the game while collecting his 44th block of the season. The swat total gives the freshman the sixth-best blocking season in MSUB history.
Zack Rollins finished the game with six points and five rebounds while Perry and Tall each had three points.
The Seawolves were led by D.J. Ursey who scored a game-high 16 points while grabbing five rebounds. Three other Anchorage players scored in double figures in the game. UAA outscored the ‘Jackets 15-6 in the paint and had 35-33 rebound advantage on the night.
The loss concludes the Yellowjackets season after MSUB started the season 5-0 but injuries and a challenging GNAC schedule led to a 13-18, 5-15 GNAC finish. Rollins, a junior, finished his first season with the ‘Jackets leading the team in scoring with 15.4 points and 5.3 rebounds per game.