MSUB Women Move on to Sweet 16 with Upset of UC San Diego - SWX Right Now-Sports for Spokane, CdA, Tri-Cities, WA

MSUB Women Move on to Sweet 16 with Upset of UC San Diego

Posted: Updated:

COURTESY: MSUB Athletics

AZUSA, Calif. – Alisha Breen broke the Great Northwest Athletic Conference career and single-season scoring records at the Felix Event Center on Saturday night, and the Montana State University Billings women’s basketball team defeated No. 23 UC San Diego 75-73 to advance to the NCAA Division II West Region Championships title game.

Rylee Kane had a career-high 31 points, and carried the ‘Jackets to victory with seven rebounds and seven assists. With the ‘Jackets trailing 70-67 and 1:33 left in the game, Kane scored four straight points to push the advantage back into her team’s hands.

After a pair of clutch free throws by Hannah Collins, UCSD had a shot to tie the score with 20 seconds left. Sydney Sharp, who had punished the ‘Jackets with three late 3-pointers to that point in the game, watched as her attempt from the wing circled the rim and missed, and Kane grabbed her final rebound before icing the game with two more free throws.

Sharp made a final three the next time down, but time ran out and the ‘Jackets burst onto the court to celebrate the iconic victory. MSUB returns to the west region title game for the third time in program history, with its most recent appearance coming in 2013-14 in a loss to No. 1 seed Cal Poly Pomona. The Yellowjackets’ best finish in school history came in 1998-99 when they won the regional title and advanced to the NCAA Elite Eight.

MSUB (24-11) will play the winner of No. 5 seed Alaska Anchorage and No. 8 seed Humboldt State, which tips off at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday.

Kane was 11-for-15 from the field, 2-for-2 from 3-point range, and made all seven of her free throws on a night where MSUB was a perfect 15-for-15 from the line. She also had three steals, and committed just one turnover while playing 38 minutes. “I don’t know that I have ever seen a guard play better, on my team or the other team, in a high-pressure, tournament game like this,” said MSUB head coach Kevin Woodin. “She did everything for us tonight, and I think it was as close to perfection as you can be.”

Breen had 13 points by the end of the opening quarter, and passed Simon Fraser University great Erin Chambers for No. 1 in GNAC career history with a jumper two minutes into the second quarter. She finished the game with 1,960 points, and now has 750 on the season which is also a conference record. Breen passed Taylor Peacocke of Western Washington University, who established the mark of 745 points last year, with a pair of free throws in the third quarter.

The Yellowjackets won despite being out-rebounded 48-31, and UCSD had 15 offensive rebounds while MSUB had none. The ‘Jackets could not stop Dalayna Sampton, who had a massive 30-point, 12-rebound double-double and dominated with her post play. MSUB committed just six turnovers however, their second-fewest giveaways of the year. The Tritons meanwhile had nine turnovers, which the ‘Jackets converted into 14 points.

Just as she did in Friday’s win over No. 19 Hawaii Pacific, Kane got off to a hot start as she scored seven points and had an assist in the first three minutes of the game. She and Breen had threes on back-to-back possessions, and the ‘Jackets jumped out to an early 13-6 advantage. The ‘Jackets parlayed that into a 27-17 edge by the end of the first, a key burst that paid off in the form of early momentum.

Sampton went to work in the second quarter, scoring 10 straight points, and narrowing the gap to 31-29. The ‘Jackets meanwhile cooled off significantly, enduring an 0-for-9 slump from the arc after starting the game 5-for-5 from distance.

Breen snapped the skid with a trey from the top two minutes before halftime, giving her 18 points and the team a 34-29 lead.

Vanessa Stavish converted a three-point play to rebuild MSUB’s lead to 39-33 early on in the third quarter. Stavish finished the night with eight points and four rebounds, while playing 27 minutes. Momentum swung back and forth in the third, but the ‘Jackets kept a grip on the lead with a 19-18 advantage in the quarter.

Sharp tied the game at 55-55 with a three with 7:30 to go, but Stavish answered immediately with a jumper to give MSUB the edge once again. Sharp went on to hit a pair of treys however, and a third by Kayla Sato gave UCSD a 70-67 lead with 1:33 to play.

Kane refused to let her team slip away, as her late heroics nudged MSUB back in front for good. The ‘Jackets made 26 of 59 shots in the game (44.1 percent), and hit 8 of 26 threes (30.8 percent). UCSD got back into the game with 7-for-13 accuracy from the arc in the second half, after starting the game just 1-for-5 in the opening half. Overall the Tritons made 27 of 72 shots from the floor (37.5 percent).

THE BUZZ: Kane was named the St. Vincent Healthcare Player of the Game…MSUB is now 4-1 all-time against UCSD…Kane’s previous career high was 28 points, which she reached on Feb. 22, 2018 at Simon Fraser University…Breen extended her GNAC record streak of consecutive games with 20 or more points to 12.

COMING UP: The ‘Jackets face the winner of No. 8 seed Humboldt State University vs. No. 5 seed University of Alaska Anchorage, which tips off at 7:30 p.m. Saturday night. Monday’s championship game is scheduled for 7 p.m. Pacific time, and live coverage will be available online here.

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Two injured in Montana after swerving to avoid a kangaroo or wallaby

    Two injured in Montana after swerving to avoid a kangaroo or wallaby

    Thursday, June 21 2018 7:02 PM EDT2018-06-21 23:02:48 GMT
    kangaroo (Wikimedia Commons)kangaroo (Wikimedia Commons)

    UPDATE: Sources now indicate that the animal may actually have been an escaped wallaby from a petting zoo on the Fort Belknap Reservation.

    More >>

    UPDATE: Sources now indicate that the animal may actually have been an escaped wallaby from a petting zoo on the Fort Belknap Reservation.

    More >>
  • No charges filed in Lodge Grass triple murder

    No charges filed in Lodge Grass triple murder

    Friday, June 22 2018 6:08 PM EDT2018-06-22 22:08:16 GMT

    After a careful review of the evidence and witness testimony, prosecutors concluded the investigation could not conclusively determine who shot whom, or in what order the shots were fired.  Thus, there is no way to prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, who actually fired the shot(s) that killed any of the decedents. 

    More >>

    After a careful review of the evidence and witness testimony, prosecutors concluded the investigation could not conclusively determine who shot whom, or in what order the shots were fired.  Thus, there is no way to prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, who actually fired the shot(s) that killed any of the decedents. 

    More >>
  • No charges for teens who taunted drowning disabled man

    No charges for teens who taunted drowning disabled man

    Friday, June 22 2018 5:06 PM EDT2018-06-22 21:06:56 GMT

    COCOA, Fla. (AP) - Florida prosecutors say they aren't charging a group of teens who taunted a drowning disabled man and recorded his death.    State Attorney Phil Archer released a statement Friday announcing his office's decision not to criminally charge four juveniles and one adult for failing to help 31-year-old Jamel Dunn at a Cocoa retention pond last July.

    More >>

    COCOA, Fla. (AP) - Florida prosecutors say they aren't charging a group of teens who taunted a drowning disabled man and recorded his death.    State Attorney Phil Archer released a statement Friday announcing his office's decision not to criminally charge four juveniles and one adult for failing to help 31-year-old Jamel Dunn at a Cocoa retention pond last July.

    More >>
  • Could Montana and Wyoming be saying goodbye to Daylight Saving Time?

    Could Montana and Wyoming be saying goodbye to Daylight Saving Time?

    Friday, June 22 2018 12:35 AM EDT2018-06-22 04:35:25 GMT

    Powell – On the longest day of the year, you may not be thinking about saving daylight. But, a Wyoming lawmaker in Powell is. He wants to save daylight in the winter, and stop changing the clock.

    More >>

    Powell – On the longest day of the year, you may not be thinking about saving daylight. But, a Wyoming lawmaker in Powell is. He wants to save daylight in the winter, and stop changing the clock.

    More >>
  • Donald Trump Jr. returns to the Magic City

    Donald Trump Jr. returns to the Magic City

    Saturday, June 23 2018 1:17 AM EDT2018-06-23 05:17:10 GMT

    More than 350 people attended the Montana Republican Party Platform Convention. Donald Trump Junior stopped by to do some fundraising for Matt Rosendale.

    More >>

    More than 350 people attended the Montana Republican Party Platform Convention. Donald Trump Junior stopped by to do some fundraising for Matt Rosendale.

    More >>
  • The Battle of Little Big Horn Reenactment

    The Battle of Little Big Horn Reenactment

    Friday, June 22 2018 8:55 PM EDT2018-06-23 00:55:19 GMT
    A Garryowen family says they've been putting on the Battle of Little Big Horn reenactment every summer for 30 years. Jim Real Bird, General Manager for the Battle of Little Big Horn reenactment says the rain is making it too muddy and unsafe for the 40 cavalry horses and actors. Warriors, soldiers, horses, a few of the things at the battle of little big horn reenactment. For local Milo Paz it's annual tradition that signals the beginning of summer. 'I've actually been doing this ...More >>
    A Garryowen family says they've been putting on the Battle of Little Big Horn reenactment every summer for 30 years. Jim Real Bird, General Manager for the Battle of Little Big Horn reenactment says the rain is making it too muddy and unsafe for the 40 cavalry horses and actors. Warriors, soldiers, horses, a few of the things at the battle of little big horn reenactment. For local Milo Paz it's annual tradition that signals the beginning of summer. 'I've actually been doing this ...More >>
  • Victim of Billings carjacking was a former sheriff

    Victim of Billings carjacking was a former sheriff

    Yellowstone County officials say the victim of a weekend carjacking in Billings was a former Big Horn County sheriff.

    More >>

    Yellowstone County officials say the victim of a weekend carjacking in Billings was a former Big Horn County sheriff.

    More >>
  • Cancer survivor expected to participate in Relay For Life for the first time

    Cancer survivor expected to participate in Relay For Life for the first time

    Saturday, June 23 2018 12:37 AM EDT2018-06-23 04:37:21 GMT

    Gary Garcia has lived in Billings for many years. He had never considered participating in the Relay For Life until he was hit with a big surprise.

    More >>

    Gary Garcia has lived in Billings for many years. He had never considered participating in the Relay For Life until he was hit with a big surprise.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2018 SWXRN. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices.