MSUB Women Push Home Winning Streak to Three - | News, Weather & Sports in Billings, Montana

MSUB Women Push Home Winning Streak to Three

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A return to Alterowitz Gym treated the Montana State University Billings women’s basketball team well on Thursday, as the Yellowjackets snapped a four-game losing streak with a 71-57 triumph over Great Northwest Athletic Conference opponent Saint Martin’s University.

Senior Tiana Hanson tied a career high with 24 points, and sophomore guard Brina Hull set a new personal best with 14 points thanks to three 3-pointers.

The ‘Jackets (7-14, 4-9 GNAC) used their most proficient offensive quarter of the entire season to jump out to an early double-figure lead, as MSUB held a 29-17 edge after 10 minutes of play. Though the Saints cut the deficit to as little as five points early in the third quarter, MSUB never relinquished the lead the entire evening.

Lexi Prevost chipped in 11 points on three 3-pointers, and junior Grace Weeks grabbed a season-best nine rebounds in 33 strong minutes on the floor. Junior point guard Rylee Kane was one assist shy of her career high as she wound up with nine helpers against just one turnover in a team-high 34 minutes.

The Saints (5-17, 1-13 GNAC) were led by 15 points and a team-high eight rebounds from Elin Johansson, while Rebekah Baugh had 11 points and Hannah Reynolds added 10. Johansson did the bulk of her work under the basket, converting on 7 of 13 field goals in the paint.

MSUB enjoyed a stellar 41-25 edge in rebounding, with Marissa Van Atta contributing nine boards and Hanson adding eight to go with Weeks’ nine. Van Atta also had eight points, a pair of assists, and three steals in 28 minutes.

Weeks capped off a 17-4 run to start the game with a jumper, as MSUB set the tone from the beginning and never looked back. The Saints battled back in the second quarter, outscoring MSUB 17-12, but a final layup from Hanson gave the ‘Jackets a 41-34 advantage at halftime.

SMU maintained a chance to get back into the game into the final 10 minutes, and Baylee Olson started the fourth quarter with a layup that cut her team’s deficit back into single digits. An ensuing 9-0 run that was kicked off on a trey from Hull was the final determining factor in the game, as MSUB watched its lead grow to the largest of the night up 71-53.

The ‘Jackets didn’t score over the final 2:40, but the damage had been done as the home team avenged a 64-57 road loss in Lacey, Wash., on Jan. 7. MSUB improved to 5-3 at home this season with the victory.

As a team, MSUB shot 44.4 percent overall (28-for-63), 40.0 percent from 3-point range (8-for-20), and made 7 of 15 free throws (7-for-15). The ‘Jackets cooled off significantly in the second half, shooting just 36.4 percent compared to a blistering mark of 53.3 percent in the opening half.

Comparatively, the Saints shot 40.8 percent from the field (20-for-49), 50.0 percent from 3-point range (6-for-12), and 64.7 percent from the foul line (11-for-17). The Saints had nine turnovers in the game while MSUB had seven, and SMU received 22 of its points off the bench.

“Overall this was just a great team win, and we had great intensity throughout the game,” said MSUB head coach Kevin Woodin. “It’s nice to be home here over the next few weeks, and we thought we played SPU pretty tight at their place. We just got off to a slow start in that game, so it will be important for us to start better against them on Saturday.”