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Alisha Breen GNAC Player of the Year, Rylee Kane all-conference

Posted at 2:02 PM, Feb 28, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-06 09:38:03-04

(MSUB Athletics release)

PORTLAND, Ore. – One year after suffering a season-ending knee injury, Montana State University Billings women’s basketball senior Alisha Breen is completing her best season yet and was named the Great Northwest Athletic Conference Player of the Year announced by the league office on Wednesday.

Breen was a unanimous first-team all-GNAC selection, while senior point guard Rylee Kane earned honorable mention all-conference for the second straight season.

Breen, who was tabbed by the conference coaches as the GNAC Preseason Player of the Year, leads the conference and ranks No. 12 in the NCAA Division II with an average of 20.8 points per game. She joins former teammate and three-time All-American Bobbi Knudsen as well as 12 others among the decorated list of Yellowjackets to garner a conference Player of the Year honor since the program began in the early 1970s.

MSUB Women’s Basketball All-Time Conference Player of the Year Awards
Player Conference Season

Alisha Breen Great Northwest Athletic Conference 2017-18

Bobbi Knudsen Great Northwest Athletic Conference 2013-14

Michelle Lieber Heartland Conference 2006-07
Michelle Lieber Heartland Conference 2005-06

Codi Schmitz Pac West Conference 1999-00

Megan Dickerson Pac West Conference 1997-98

Tera Silvius Pac West Conference 1993-94

Shelley Altrogge Continental Divide 1990-91
Shelley Altrogge Continental Divide 1989-90

Evonne Goroski Continental Divide 1987-88

Kelli Kenyon Continental Divide 1986-87

Deb Prevost Frontier Conference 1977-78
Deb Prevost Frontier Conference 1975-76
Deb Prevost Frontier Conference 1974-75

“Alisha has had an incredible year and arguably one of the best seasons in conference history by an individual,” commented MSUB head coach Kevin Woodin. “She is very deserving of the GNAC Player of the Year award. She prepared very hard to come back this year after missing last season, and I am very happy for her.”

The Choteau, Mont., native earned all-conference recognition for the third time in her career, after also ranking second in the league in rebounding with 9.4 boards per game. Entering this week’s GNAC Championships, Breen’s 625 points scored are fifth-most in GNAC single-season history, and among the players who have scored 600 or more points in a season her 285 rebounds are the most.

Among career rankings, Breen is No. 3 in GNAC history and No. 2 in MSUB history with 1,835 career points. She is the GNAC career leader in free throws (524) and free-throw attempts (644), and her 3,897 minutes played are second most in league history.

Kane is a native of Red Lodge, Mont., who is one assist away from topping her personal best of 150 in a year. She is tied for the GNAC lead with 5.0 assists per game, and she ranks 11th in the league in scoring with 12.9 points. Her 149 total assists this year are the most in the conference. “Rylee has had an excellent senior season and in my opinion has established herself as a top-level point guard in our league and region,” said Woodin. “She really elevated her play this year by leading the league in assists and scoring more than in past seasons. Her leadership, durability, and defensive abilities were also critical components to our team’s overall success.”

Throughout her four-year career as a starter, Kane has never missed a game. Her 118 consecutive starts mark the second-longest streak in GNAC history, and she is one of just two players to start 100 percent of her team’s games during a four-year career. Kane has had at least one assist in the last 94 games she has played, and overall ranks No. 4 in GNAC history and No. 2 in MSUB history with 533 assists.

University of Alaska Anchorage head coach Ryan McCarthy was selected as the GNAC Coach of the Year for the second straight season, after piloting the Seawolves to a share for the conference regular-season title. Seattle Pacific University senior Jordan McPhee was named the GNAC Defensive Player of the Year, and Dani Iwami of Western Washington University claimed GNAC Newcomer of the Year honors. Saint Martin’s University star Saniah Simpson-Patu was picked as the GNAC Freshman of the Year.

Breen was the only two-time first-team selection in the conference, as well as the only player in the league to be receiving all-conference honors for a third season.

2017-18 GNAC Women’s Basketball All-Conference Team
Player of the Year: Alisha Breen, Montana State Billings
Coach of the Year: Ryan McCarthy, Alaska Anchorage
Defensive Player of the Year: Jordan McPhee, Seattle Pacific
Freshman of the Year: Saniah Simpson-Patu, Saint Martin’s
Newcomer of the Year: Dani Iwami, Western Washington

Player School Position Height Year Hometown (Previous School)

*%! Alisha Breen
Montana State Billings Forward 5-10 Senior Choteau, MT (Choteau)
* Hannah Wandersee Alaska Anchorage Forward 6-2 Junior Kodiak, AK (Kodiak)
*@ Lexi Tubbs Northwest Nazarene Guard 5-11 Senior Turlock, CA (Modesto Christian)
* Jordan McPhee Seattle Pacific Guard 5-10 Senior Normandy Park, WA (Mount Rainier)
Bailey Cartwright Concordia Forward 6-1 Junior Pasco, WA (Chiawana)
*# Jasmin Edwards Central Washington Guard 5-5 Senior Lynnwood, WA (Lynnwood)

Player School Position Height Year Hometown (Previous School)

@ Courtney Hollander Seattle Pacific Guard 6-0 Senior Lynden, WA (Lynden Christian)
Shelby Cloninger Alaska Anchorage Forward 6-0 Senior Kamiah, Idaho (North Idaho College)
Danielle Jardine Northwest Nazarene Forward 5-11 Junior Nampa, Idaho (Nampa)
Sophie Swant Simon Fraser Forward 5-11 Junior North Vancouver, BC (Seycove)
@ Danielle Hartzog Concordia Guard 5-9 Senior Beaverton, OR (Colorado Mesa)
Hannah Stipanovich Western Washington Forward 6-1 Senior St. Louis, MO (Metro State)

Player School Position Height Year Hometown (Previous School)

Lexi Carpenter Alaska Guard 5-9 Sophomore Yakima, WA (East Valley)
Yasmeen Goo Alaska Anchorage Guard 5-10 Sophomore Daly City, CA (Westmoor)
Alexis Pana Central Washington Guard 5-9 Senior Seattle, WA (Ballard)
Keesha Sarman Concordia Guard 5-6 Junior Union, OR (Union)
@ Rylee Kane Montana State Billings Guard 5-6 Senior Red Lodge, MT (Red Lodge)
McKenna Walker Northwest Nazarene Guard 5-9 Junior Moses Lake, WA (Moses Lake)
@ Elin Johnasson Saint Martin’s Forward 6-1 Senior Gothenburg, Sweden (Sanda Gymnasium)
Rachel Shim Seattle Pacific Guard 5-7 Senior Sammamish, WA (Skyline)
Savannah Heugly Western Oregon Forward 5-11 Senior Tualatin, OR (Blue Mountain CC)

* – Unanimous Selection
+ First Team Selection In 2016-17
# – Second Team Selection In 2016-17
@ – Honorable Mention In 2016-17
% – First Team Selection In 2015-16
! – Honorable Mention In 2014-15