(MSUB Athletics release)
BILLINGS – The men’s basketball team at Montana State University Billings (2-2, 0-0 GNAC) takes a quick break from the regular season schedule to renew a decades old crosstown rivalry with Rocky Mountain College (5-0, 0-0 Frontier) in an exhibition game at Fortin Center Monday night at 7 p.m. The game will count in Rocky’s regular season standings.
The Yellowjackets are 89-81 all-time against the Battlin’ Bears but lost last year’s matchup 95-87 at Alterowitz Gymnasium on December 7, 2017. MSU Billings has won two straight games and heads to Fortin Center with a very different team from last season while Rocky Mountain stands to lose its’ current five game winning streak on Monday night.
“Monday should be a good atmosphere,” said ‘Jackets head coach Mick Durham. “It will of course be my first MSUB versus Rocky game but really it’s just another game for us. It’s a chance to get better. We know what kind of team Rocky is and we’re excited to go over there and play and get another one under our belt.”
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: A hot shooting second half catapulted the Yellowjackets basketball team to a 79-65 victory over Minot State University Saturday night at Alterowitz Gymnasium.
Tyler Green led the ‘Jackets with 17 points on 5-for-8 shooting. Green was also 4-for-7 from 3-point range and 3-for-3 from the free throw line. Brendan Howard had a strong night offensively as well and shot 6-for-8 from the floor including two 3-pointers and a pair of free throws for 16 points.
Montana State Billings (2-2, 0-0 GNAC) grabbed a second straight win at home after defeating University of Mary 56-53 on Thursday. Minot State (3-2, 0-0 FRONT) was on a three game winning streak coming into Saturday night’s bout with MSUB but had their streak snapped.
CATEGORY LEADERS: Brendan Howard leads the Yellowjackets with 60 points in four games (15.0 ppg). The freshman from Great Falls, Montana has made a positive impression and posted a season high 22 points against University of Mary in the MSUB home opener Thursday night. Howard also has 17 rebounds, three assists, and three blocks.
When it comes to long range shooting, Tyler Green has been the answer. Green leads the Yellowjackets with 12 made shots from beyond the arc. He is 12-for-25 with a 3-point shooting percentage of .480. Zack Rollins is shooting .444 from 3-point range and Sven Jeuschede has a .333 percentage in the category.
Melvin Newbern Jr. leads the defense for the Yellowjackets. In four starts, Newbern Jr. has 33 rebounds (8.3 rpg). He is also third on the team with 11.8 points per game and nine assists (2.3 apg).
Great Northwest Athletic Conference teams have fared well in non-conference action so far this season. Northwest Nazarene (3-0), Seattle Pacific (2-0), and Wester Oregon (2-0) all remain undefeated and MSU Billings (2-2) is tied with Simon Fraser (2-2) and Central Washington (2-2) for seventh place in the GNAC.
Scouting Rocky Mountain College
Game Day: Monday, November 19 – 7 p.m.
2018 Record: 5-0, 0-0 Frontier, 3-0 home, 2-0 away
Head Coach: Bill Dreikosen (19th season)
2017 Record: 18-14, 8-10 Frontier, 8-5 home, 9-6 away
The Battlin’ Bears are undefeated through five games against three different opponents. RMC recorded pairs of victories over Yellowstone Christian College and Salish Kootenai before a Tuesday night win over Presentation College at home 93-72.
Rocky Mountain College features a balanced roster made up of six seniors, four juniors, three sophomores, and three freshmen. Junior forward Jared Samuelson has averaged 20.8 points per game in four games played. Samuelson posted 27 points against the Yellowjackets last season and had a double-double with 10 rebounds. Senior guard Satchel McDonald averaged 12.8 points per game.
The Battlin’ Bears have a .518 shooting percentage and shoot .359 from 3-point range. RMC has made 48-of-68 free throws (.706) and averages 49.8 rebounds per game.
LOOKING AHEAD: MSU Billings plays and hosts the MSUB Thanksgiving Tournament on November 23-24. The ‘Jackets have non-conference games scheduled against California State Dominguez Hills and Black Hills State University. The GNAC schedule begins on November 27 with a game against University of Alaska at 7 p.m.