AZUSA, Calif. – The MSU Billings Lady Yellowjackets landed in Billings Tuesday night with a shiny new trophy, headed for a prime spot in the Alterowitz Gym display.
An Alisha Breen block at the buzzer gave MSUB the NCAA West Regional title in a heart-stopping win over nemesis Alaska Anchorage, 71-70 on Monday. The block was good, but Rylee Kane’s two free throws with 4.3 seconds left were championship material.
What was going through her mind at the line?
“Really, I couldn’t tell you what I was thinking. I think it’s better when I don’t think,” said the senior guard. “It actually helped me quite a bit. If you could hear the people on the bench, they screamed, ‘Rylee, I love you!’ That actually started at Simon Fraser with their super-fan, and since then it’s helped me out quite a bit.”
The win puts MSUB in the NCAA D2 Elite 8 for the second time in program history. The Jackets earned the No. 8 seed Tuesday and will face the No. 1 team in the country, Ashland University. The Eagles are the defending national champions and have won 71 games in a row. But after beating three ranked opponents in four nights, the Jackets aren’t afraid of anything right now.
“We’re just happy to go on, and we look forward to the event. There’s nothing that’s too big for us,” said head coach Kevin Woodin. “We’re going to play well.”