PORTLAND, Ore. — Picking up three wins in three days to claim the Great Northwest Athletic Conference women’s basketball tournament title, the Montana State University Billings women’s basketball team was named the Red Lion Hotels/GNAC Team of the Week on Monday.
Entering last week’s tournament as the No. 4 seed, MSUB topped Central Washington 75-73 in the semifinals, Northwest Nazarene 76-69 in the semifinals, and Seattle Pacific 71-61 in the title game to bring home the 2018 trophy.
“I am very proud of our team for earning the GNAC Team of the Week award,” said MSUB coach Kevin Woodin. “Our players were very focused in Alaska and everyone on our team contributed to our success. We beat three quality opponents in three hard-fought, close games. In the past few years we had suffered a couple of semifinal losses and a runner-up finish, so to finally earn the title was a great feeling.”
MSUB clinched a berth in this week’s NCAA Division II West Region Championships with the tournament win, and will play No. 19 Hawaii Pacific University in the opening round of the event on Friday at 3 p.m. Mountain time at Azusa Pacific University in Azusa, California.
Senior Alisha Breen was named the GNAC Championships Most Valuable Player, after scoring 77 points in three games and playing all 120 minutes to lead her team to the victory. It was the Yellowjackets’ first tournament win after losing in the 2016 championship game to Alaska Anchorage, and it was the team’s fourth appearance overall since the single-site format of the tournament began in 2012-13.
The conference championship is MSUB’s first league title since the 2013-14 squad claimed the GNAC regular-season championship. The Jackets are headed back to the regional championships for the third time in the last five seasons, and for the first time since the 2015-16 campaign.