‘Jackets Pull Away from Bears in Preseason Finale - KULR8.com | News, Weather & Sports in Billings, Montana

‘Jackets Pull Away from Bears in Preseason Finale

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BILLINGS, Mont. – Owning the second half and out-scoring rival Rocky Mountain College by 17 points over the final 20 minutes, the Montana State University Billings women’s basketball team rolled to a 71-48 exhibition win at the Fortin Center on the campus of RMC Monday night.

It was the final preseason exhibition contest for the Yellowjackets, who open the season on the road this Friday. “It’s always a tough environment to play here at Rocky, and we are super excited to come out with a win,” said junior forward Vanessa Stavish after the game. “We came out in the second half knowing we wanted to extend that lead, and that’s exactly what we did.”

Alisha Breen led all players with 20 points on 5-for-11 shooting from the floor and 8-for-8 accuracy from the foul line. The senior chipped in eight rebounds in 29 minutes on the floor. Point guard Rylee Kane had a dominant display running the show, with 19 points, six assists, and five rebounds while making 7 of 8 foul shots.

RMC started hot out of the gate, and constructed a 13-8 lead early in the opening quarter. The first five points by Breen came on a layup and a trey with four minutes left in the first quarter, and evened the score at 13-13.

Overall it kicked off a 15-3 scoring spree by MSUB that covered the next nine minutes of action and gave the ‘Jackets a 23-16 advantage. MSUB never trailed again on Monday night en route to the win, although the Bears put a stop to the Yellowjackets’ run as the first half wound down, pulling even at 23-23.

Leading 31-25 at halftime, MSUB made its move coming out of the break and blew the game open with a 21-8 third-quarter performance. Kane and Stavish combined to score eight straight points to end the quarter, as MSUB’s advantage grew to an insurmountable 19 points at 52-33. “Ry and I have played together for three years, and she is a great person, friend and teammate,” said Stavish. “She can score from any position now, and she has really developed herself.

The ‘Jackets held a 47-19 advantage in rebounding, including an 11-6 edge in offensive boards. MSUB shot an even 50 percent from the floor overall (24-for-48), while RMC struggled with its accuracy at just 30.2 percent (16-for-53). Brooke Jones led the Bears with 13 points, and Mikayla Jones had a dozen.

Grace Weeks made 5 of 8 shots from the floor and finished with 11 points in 12 minutes, while also contributing a pair of blocks defensively. Stavish matched Breen for the team high in rebounding with eight, and Lexi Prevost had seven boards to go along with five points.

The Yellowjackets converted 18 of 20 foul shots on the evening, while the Bears made just 10 of 17 shots from the line.

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