BILLINGS – When the No. 1-ranked Ashland University Eagles take the floor against MSU Billings in an NCAA D2 national quarterfinal Monday night, they’ll be facing a first-team All American.
Jackets star forward Alisha Breen was named the 11th All-American in school history Sunday by the D2 coaches, becoming the only MSUB first-teamer since records exist back to 2006-07.
But fans know how good Breen is. What they don’t know is just how good the Eagles are.
The numbers are eye-popping. Ashland has won 71 straight games – the all-time D2 record – and averages over 100 points per contest this year. There’s definitely a David vs. Goliath feel to the game.
“Obviously, they’re very, very skilled offensively,” said Breen. “They have two former All-Americans who are seniors, and then they have a sophomore who was the conference player of the year, so they’re very talented.”
But MSUB also knows how that biblical story turned out.
“You just have to come in and you have to be confident,” said Breen. “It’s anyone’s game – it’s whoever shows up on Monday night and plays the best basketball that’s gonna win.”
MSUB head coach Kevin Woodin echoed his star’s sentiment.
“We don’t know a ton about them, they don’t know a ton about us. It will be decided on the court on Monday night,” said Woodin. “I’m just expecting us, with the momentum we’ve had, to keep playing well, and we’ll see where it is. If the game’s close in the last few minutes, I like our chances.”
Tip off is scheduled for 5:00 p.m. Monday in Sioux Falls, S.D. Ashland and MSUB have just one common opponent this season – Drury University. The Eagles beat Drury by six in last week’s regional championship, while the Jackets lost by five back in December.