Alisha Breen drives for the basket

For the second year in a row, Alisha Breen of Montana State Billings has been selected the Great Northwest Athletic Conference Preseason Player of the Year for women's basketball. The senior from Choteau missed last season because of a knee injury.

Gazette Staff

PORTLAND, Ore. — For the second straight year, Alisha Breen of Montana State Billings has been selected the Great Northwest Athletic Conference Preseason Player of the Year for women's basketball.

The senior from Choteau is the first player in GNAC history to be named Preseason Player of the Year twice since the award's inception for the 2012-13 season.

Breen was a unanimous selection to the 2017-18 preseason all-conference team and received 7 of 11 votes for the league's top honor from the coaches. Senior teammate Rylee Kane was also selected to the preseason all-conference team.

Breen missed all of last season after suffering a knee injury during the Yellowjackets' second exhibition game last November. She was a first-team all-GNAC selection as a junior after averaging a conference-best 17.4 points a game. She also averaged 5.4 rebounds and was selected a WBCA preseason All-American before the injury last fall.

"It's very special that Alisha was able to get this award again, and it shows great respect for her abilities from the other schools in our league," said MSUB coach Kevin Woodin in a press release.

"She  has worked so hard to return to action at a high level with her rehab over the past year, and I have been very impressed with her progress. Sitting out a year enabled her to see the game from a different view, and she has the potential to be even better this year."

Breen enters the season with 1,210 career points, the 15th most in MSUB history. She has helped MSUB to two NCAA Division II tournament appearances.

Kane, of Red Lodge, averaged 11.4 points and 5.4 assists last season, earning honorable mention all-GNAC honors. Kane ranks sixth all-time for assists at MSUB (384) and 11th in GNAC history.

MSUB will host Montana Western in an exhibition game on Wednesday, Nov. 1 to open the season.

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