(Editor's note: Big Sky Conference media release)
FARMINGTON, Utah – Despite not appearing on a Big Sky roster a season ago, Montana State’s Fallyn Freije has been selected as the Big Sky Preseason MVP and one of seven individuals honored with a selection to the preseason all-conference team. The team was voted on by league coaches, sports information staff, and media members. Coaches were allowed to vote for their own players.
Freije is joined by fellow teammate Oliana Squires on this year’s preseason team and they represent the only teammates to be featured on this year’s team. Also joining Freije and Squires are Kylie Jimenez from Portland State, Kennedy Nicholas from Sacramento State, Estefania Ors from Idaho State, McKenzie Johnston from Montana, and Gina Marxen from Idaho.
Freije rejoins the Big Sky after sitting out the 2018-19 season due to transferring to Montana State from North Dakota. During her time with North Dakota, Freije averaged 13.2 points per game with a shooting percentage of 40.8 and was also 30.9 percent from three-point range. She was also a Big Sky All-Conference Honorable Mention selection twice during her time with North Dakota.
Squires joins Freije and is back in the Bobcats’ backcourt after a 2018-19 season where she averaged 11.4 points per game and shot 37.1 percent from the field. The senior guard was selected as a Big Sky All-Conference Third Team member last season.
Jimenez returns to help anchor a Portland State team that won the Big Sky Conference Tournament a season ago. Jimenez averaged 11.5 points and 4.7 assists, third-best in the conference, on her way to an All-Big Sky Honorable Mention. The junior guard led the Big Sky a season ago in steals per game with an average of 2.6.
Nicholas returns to Sacramento State for her senior season after a breakout season in 2018-19 where she played in all of the Hornets’ games. Nicholas averaged 13 points and 11.1 rebounds per game. The senior forward’s rebounding average was at the top of the Big Sky and ranked her 17thin the nation last season. Nicholas was named a Big Sky All-Conference Honorable Mention for her play last year.
Ors was named All-Big Sky Honorable Mention last year, which marked the third straight year she has received postseason honors. Ors averaged 12.9 points and 4.1 rebounds per game for Idaho State last season. The senior guard shot an impressive 43.5 percent from the field and shot 41.1 percent from long range.
Johnston played in 29 games for the Lady Griz last season and led the team in scoring with 12.6 points per game and averaged 37.4 minutes per game. The senior guard also led the team in assists with an average of 4.1 per game which ranked her sixth in the Big Sky. Johnston also averaged 5.2 rebounds per game and shot 44.1 percent from the field.
Marxen returns to Idaho after an outstanding freshman season that saw her named Big Sky Freshman of the Year. Marxen played in every game for the Vandals and averaged 32.1 minutes per game. The sophomore guard averaged 8.6 points, three rebounds, and a team-leading four assists per game last season. Marxen also led the team in steals and totaled 25 of them a year ago.
The 2019-20 season gets underway Tuesday, November 5 with seven teams in action. The 2020 Big Sky Basketball Championships presented by My Place Hotels take place March 9-14 at CenturyLink Arena in Boise, Idaho. Tickets will go on sale next week.
To stay up-to-date with the Big Sky Conference, follow us on Facebook at /BigSkyConf or on Instagram and Twitter @BigSkyConf. Fans can follow Big Sky women’s basketball on Twitter @BigSkyWBB.
2019-20 Big Sky Women’s Basketball Preseason All-Conference Team
Fallyn Freije, Montana State
Kylie Jimenez, Portland State
Kennedy Nicholas, Sacramento State
Estefania Ors, Idaho State
Oliana Squires, Montana State
McKenzie Johnston, Montana
Gina Marxen, Idaho