(MSU Billings release)
BILLINGS – As one of the most historic seasons in the history of the Great Northwest Athletic Conference continues to unfold, Montana State University Billings senior Alisha Breen added another achievement to her resume on Monday as she was named the Division II Conference Commissioners Association West Region Player of the Year.
Breen, who was selected as the GNAC Player of the Year and GNAC Championships Most Valuable Player, was a first-team all-region pick and received the most votes among any player from the GNAC, California Collegiate Athletic Association, or PacWest Conference.
“Alisha is very deserving of the west region player of the year award,” said MSUB head coach Kevin Woodin. “She has played at a very high level throughout her career, but this season she has definitely taken her game to a new level. Her consistency and versatility have been incredible, and she impacts every game she plays in many ways. In addition, Alisha positively represents everything you want from a student-athlete, both on and off the court.”
Breen is No. 10 in the NCAA with a scoring average of 21.4 points per game. Entering Monday night’s west region title game against the University of Alaska Anchorage, Breen is on an unprecedented streak of 12 consecutive games with 20 or more points. She broke the GNAC career record for points with 1,960 and the GNAC single-season record with 750 in her last game, as she scored 27 to help MSUB defeat No. 23 UC San Diego 75-73 in the regional semifinals on Saturday.
Breen also has 329 rebounds this year, which is the fourth-highest total in GNAC single-season history. She is the GNAC career leader in made free throws with 556, and her 213 makes from the foul line this season are a GNAC single-season record and are the most in all of the NCAA Division II.
After missing 2016-17 with a torn ACL, Breen broke the GNAC record for minutes played in a season and she leads the NCAA with 1,258 minutes this year. Her 17 double-doubles this season are the fourth most in GNAC single-season history, and she won the GNAC Player of the Week award a record five times this year. She was also named the United States Basketball Writers’ Association National Player of the Week once this season, and has been named the Most Valuable Player in all three of the tournaments MSUB has competed in.
Breen was a unanimous first-team all-GNAC selection, making all-conference for the third time in her career and the second time on the first team. She is also a three-time academic all-conference selection and was a CoSIDA academic all-district pick announced earlier this season.
Also earning all-region honors from the GNAC were Hannah Wandersee of Alaska Anchorage, and Lexi Tubbs of Northwest Nazarene who were each D2CCA second-team selections.
The Yellowjackets (24-11) compete for their second west-region crown in school history on Monday, and are one win away from tying the school record for wins in a year. Tipoff against Alaska Anchorage in the west region title game is at 7 p.m. Pacific time at the Felix Event Center on the campus of Azusa Pacific University.