(MSUB Athletics release)
NAMPA, Idaho – BURNABY, B.C. – In an absolute thriller, the Montana State University Billings Yellowjackets lost 112-107 in triple overtime against Simon Fraser University late Saturday night at West Gymnasium in a Great Northwest Athletic Conference game. Tyler Green made an improbable 3-point shot to send the game into double overtime, but after three extra sessions, the Clan pulled in front for the final time with just over one minute left, ending MSUB’s hopes of winning a second straight overtime affair.
Green led the Yellowjackets with 31 points (8-for-19) and played a team high 48 minutes while Zack Rollins ended with 29 points and made seven 3-pointers on 15 attempts. The Yellowjackets were stymied all night and especially in overtime by Clan forward Michael Provenzano, who posted 32 points (10-for-17) and six assists.
Montana State Billings defeated Western Washington in overtime Thursday night and are now 1-2 in overtime games this season. It was also the first triple overtime game the Yellowjackets have been a part of since joining the GNAC in 2007-08.
MSU Billings (9-7, 4-4 GNAC) ended this week’s road trip 1-1 and will return home Thursday to begin a four game homestand. After Alaska Anchorage won Saturday night, the ‘Jackets moved into a three way tie for fifth place in the conference standings and remain two games behind Seattle Pacific for fourth. Simon Fraser (8-8, 2-6) moved to 7-2 at home and into ninth place in the GNAC standings ahead of Concordia and Alaska.
FIRST HALF BREAKDOWN: Simon Fraser began the game 3 of 3 from beyond the arc and the Clan gained an early 12 point lead. The ‘Jackets picked up their outside shooting to get back to a one possession game but the Clan made a late charge to lead at halftime 37-31. Provenzano led all players with 11 points in the first half. MSUB shot 37-percent from the field and 38-percent from 3-point range. The Clan connected for 46-percent shooting and 50-percent from beyond the arc (6-for-12).
SECOND HALF BREAKDOWN: Simon Fraser made three 3-pointers to start the second half while MSUB committed a pair of early turnovers, up against full court pressure from SFU. Rollins helped keep the score close with a pair of corner threes, trimming the differential to 45-40 with 15 minutes to play.
Kobe Terashima frequently injected energy for the Yellowjackets off the bench. The sophomore made a 3-pointer to give MSUB its first lead of the game 50-48 with 13 minutes, 40 seconds to play. Trailing by six with 1:15 to go, the ‘Jackets continually fouled but worked their way all the way back when Rollins was fouled at the 3-point line trailing 81-78. He made each of three ensuing free throws to tie it 81-81. A last second shot attempt by Provenzano was no good, sending the game into an extra session.
OVERTIME: Green started the overtime scoring for MSUB, then made a fadeaway three and was fouled with 2 minutes, 52 seconds left to create an 88-85 lead. SFU went back in front by one and Provenzano made a quick layup inside on an inbound pass with six seconds left. Green rushed the basketball up the floor and was fouled, sending him to the line trailing 91-90. He made both attempts.
The ‘Jackets fouled again to send Provenzano to the stripe with 3.6 seconds left. He went 2-for-2 and the ‘Jackets rushed the ball up to Green, who hit an unlikely, off balance 3-point shot at the buzzer from more than 10 feet beyond the arc and near the sideline, tying the game 93-93.
DOUBLE OVERTIME: A finger roll by Rollins put MSUB ahead 95-93 with 2 minutes, 55 seconds left in double overtime. Provenzano later hit a floater from the left side to tie the game 97-97 with 1 minute, 40 seconds remaining. Newbern Jr. grabbed a crucial defensive rebound in the final seconds and passed it up to Rollins who missed an attempted final shot.
TRIPLE OVERTIME: After an offensive foul was called on SFU’s Julian Roche, Green made a three pointer with 1 minute, 52 seconds left to tie the game 106-106. Provenzano then made a long jump shot to give SFU a two point advantage. After a foul called against Newbern Jr. resulted in one of two good SFU free throws, Roche intercepted an MSUB inbound pass with 13.3 seconds left, forcing another foul by the ‘Jackets.
Roche missed both attempts, giving Green another chance to tie the game with a three point attempt, but it clanked off the left side of the rim with 2.9 ticks left, effectively ending the game.
Brendan Howard had 21 points off the bench for MSUB and narrowly missed a double-double with eight boards. Zharon Richmond also reached double-digit scoring with 11 points while adding three rebounds and a pair of assists. Terashima was effective off the bench and had five points, eight assists, and nine rebounds. He came within range of achieving a first career triple double.
Five players had more than 10 points for Simon Fraser University. Provenzano led players of both teams with 32 points, three points shy of Green’s GNAC leading 35 point game earlier this season. Spence Othaniel had 23 points (9-for-18) and eight rebounds. Roche and Jasdeep Singh totaled 18 points apiece, and Wilfried Balata tallied 11 points and seven board for SFU.
The Yellowjackets shot 40.2-percent from the floor (33-for-82), including 40.0-percent from three point range (18-for-45) and 67-percent from the free throw line (23-for-34). Meanwhile the Clan checked in at 46.3-percent shooting (37-for-80) and 50-percent from beyond the arc (16-for-32). SFU went 22-for-28 on free throw attempts (78.6-percent) and led by as many as 12 points in the first half.
NEXT UP: The Yellowjackets begin a four game homestand on Thursday January 24 when they take on No. 23 Saint Martin’s University at 7:30 p.m. On Saturday January 26 MSUB hosts Seattle Pacific University at 5:15 p.m.
THE BUZZ: Tyler Green was named St. Vincent Healthcare player of the game for his second 30-point performance of the season…Tonight was the first triple overtime game in the GNAC since February 13, 2014 and the seventh triple overtime game in conference history…MSUB is 7-6 in the GNAC era in overtime games while SFU improved to 3-2…It was also the first triple overtime game for Simon Fraser University since joining the conference in 2010-11…The Yellowjackets have a rematch against Simon Fraser scheduled for February 14 at Alterowitz Gymnasium in Billings.
Meantime, senior Ellie Logan matched her career high with 29 points Saturday night and the No. 4 Northwest Nazarene University women’s basketball team stayed perfect on the season with a dominant 102-75 Great Northwest Athletic Conference victory over MSUB’s women at the Johnson Sports Center.
The GNAC-leading Nighthawks improved to 16-0 on the season and 8-0 in league play, and won their 10th game of the year by a margin of 20 points or more. It was the third 100-point performance by a GNAC team this season, as NNU came within one of its season high in a 103-68 dismantling of NCAA Division III Whitworth on December 18. Saint Martin’s University also reached the highest mark in the conference this year in a 107-103 overtime loss at Dixie State University on November 17.
Logan’s stellar night came nearly four years after her other career 29-point effort, as she also achieved the lofty total as a freshman on February 7, 2015 at Simon Fraser University. After missing the entire 2017-18 season with an injury, Logan had a signature showing Saturday night by making 11 of 14 shots and 6 of 7 free throws to reach the total in just 22 minutes on the court. Avery Albrecht and Marina Valles had 11 points apiece, and Maya Rodgers was also in double figures with 10. All 11 Nighthawks who played in the game scored at least three points and had at least one rebound, and 10 of 11 players had at least one assist as well.
“NNU is an unbelievably talented team, and they remind me of Ashland at last year’s Elite Eight,” said MSUB head coach Kevin Woodin. “They are deep and very good at all positions, and their team speed is impressive. We need to learn from these defeats and respond appropriately. It will be nice to be home next week after two weeks on the road.”
Taylor Cunningham led MSUB with 16 points on 5-for-11 shooting, including 3-for-4 accuracy from 3-point range. Taryn Shelley completed her fourth double-double of the year with 14 points and 10 rebounds, and senior Vanessa Stavish was also in double figures with 14 points. “Taylor Cunningham was more aggressive on offense tonight which was nice to see,” said Woodin. “Offensively we need to get the ball inside more. When we got paint touches for Taryn and Vanessa tonight, good things usually happened.”
Though the Yellowjackets (7-7, 3-5 GNAC) eventually faded against the No. 4 scoring team in the NCAA, they held the lead for the first nine minutes of play. The ‘Jackets won the tip and Stavish drilled her first shot of the night with a three from the wing. Logan’s first bucket of the night stopped a game-opening 7-0 run by MSUB, but the ‘Jackets continued their strong start and led 13-7 by the first media timeout.
“We got off to a great start tonight, which was something we felt we needed to do,” Woodin said. “I liked our intensity on both ends. Their pressure bothered us at times, especially in the second quarter. We don’t usually turn it over that much, but give them credit for forcing us into some poor decisions.”
A steal and breakaway layup by Logan gave NNU its first lead of the game, as the home team pushed ahead 19-18 with less than a minute to go in the first. It was part of a 14-0 run by the Nighthawks that closed the first and pushed their advantage to 28-18 early on in the second.
After a Logan jumper just two minutes into the second, the Nighthawks reached a double-figure advantage that they never relinquished the rest of the game. NNU reached 90 points for the sixth time this season, and posted its highest total against a GNAC foe this year. “Ellie Logan was outstanding tonight,” Woodin said. “She is so explosive, and really carried them in the first half. We allowed them to get to the line too much, and we must defend better one-on-one. I felt they got the ball into the key by the dribble or pass way too easily, and we need to play better overall team defense.”
NNU avenged last year’s 76-69 loss to MSUB in the GNAC Championships semifinals, and won for the fifth time in the last six meetings between the teams. The Nighthawks improved on their GNAC-leading scoring average of 86.9 points per game, and on their scoring margin of plus-24.1 which was No. 8 in the NCAA entering the game.
Logan’s efficient night also included a 6-for-7 mark from the foul line, where NNU was 24-for-32 overall which was the most attempts and makes by an MSUB opponent this year. It was the 18th game in Logan’s career in which she has reached 20 points, and it was the highest individual total by an NNU player this season.
The Yellowjackets shot 42.4 percent overall (25-for-59), and a respectable mark of 9-for-20 from 3-point range (45.0 percent). MSUB matched its season high with 23 turnovers however, as NNU’s constant pressure throughout the night wore down the Yellowjackets.
Freshman Emily St. John had a season-high seven points and a pair of blocks, while sophomore Hannah Collins scored nine points and had a team-high five assists on Saturday. “Brina (Hull) and Emily gave us some good minutes off the bench tonight,” commented Woodin.
MSUB logged an achievement with its 7-0 run to start the game, as they tied the third-largest deficit that NNU has been in at any point in any game during the season. No GNAC team has led the Nighthawks by more than five points at any point during the 2018-19 campaign, and the last time any team led NNU by that much was on December 8 when Cal State Los Angeles held a 21-11 advantage with 3:13 to go in the opening quarter. Westminster led NNU 9-0 on November 17 just 2:26 into that game, and Colorado Christian University enjoyed a brief 59-52 edge at the end of the third quarter on November 16.
THE BUZZ: Cunningham was picked as the St. Vincent Healthcare Player of the Game…MSUB is now 18-14 overall against NNU and is 6-10 in games played in Nampa…Saturday marked the first time an MSUB team has allowed 100 points in a game since a 100-51 loss at Western Washington on January 3, 2015…it was the most points allowed since a 102-65 loss at Seattle Pacific on January 22, 1998…it was the highest-scoring game (177 cumulative points) MSUB has been part of since a 104-77 win over the University of Alaska on February 27, 2014 (181 cumulative points).
COMING UP: MSUB returns home next week, to host Concordia University and Western Oregon University. Tipoff against the Cavaliers on Thursday is at 5:15 p.m., while the start of the game against the Wolves is at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday. Both games will be part of doubleheaders with the Yellowjacket men’s basketball team. Live video with play-by-play commentary and live statistics will be available through the MSUB Stretch Internet portal online.