Page 1

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT Birgitta Gray O: (406) 896-5917 E: December 1, 2016 Tight second half leads to opening GNAC loss for MSUB women’s basketball MSUB Women’s Basketball on Facebook | MSUB Women’s Basketball on ISSUU | Box Score

Freshman Taylor Cunningham scored nine points during her first GNAC game at Northwest Nazarene.

Turnovers and forced shots during MSUB’s opening game of conference action leads to a 78-60 loss at Northwest Nazarene. NAMPA, Idaho. – MSUB earned a two-point lead at the start of the third quarter, but a scoring drought and too many turnovers led to a 15-point deficit in the third quarter that the Yellowjackets were unable to overcome as MSU Billings fell 78-60 to Northwest Nazarene during the team’s opening Great Northwest Athletic Conference game Thursday at the Johnson Sports Center. In the opening half, MSUB struggled from the outside at 3-11, but kept themselves in the game shooting 12-13 from the free-throw line. Tiana Hanson was a perfect 8-8, scoring 15 points in the opening 20 minutes. Down by two at half-time, 37-35, MSUB opened the second half scoring four straight points on forced turnovers to take the lead back. The ‘Jackets battled for the first half of the third quarter, but missed shots combined with turnovers began to take its toll as the Crusaders outscored MSUB 23-10 in the third quarter for a 15-point, 60-45, lead.

MSUB drew the deficit down to 10, 66-56, on a pair of free-throws from Rylee Kane with 5:05 remaining in the game. With another strong response, Northwest Nazarene finished the game on a 12-4 run to deliver MSUB the openingseason conference loss. The Yellowjackets were paced by 22 points from Hanson and a career-high 18 from Taylor Edwards as the two players combined for 40 of the 60 total points. Hanson shot 6-10 from the field and was 9-10 from the free-throw line. In the opening half, Hanson went to the line eight times, but was just 1-2 in the second half. Edwards shot 5-11 from the field and 7-8 from the free-throw line with five rebounds and a steal. Hanson led the team with six rebounds and four blocks. Freshman Taylor Cunningham had nine points and four rebounds. Overall, MSUB shot 34.0 percent from the field (18-53) and was 4-18 from the 3-point arc for 22.2 percent. The Yellowjackets committed 20 turnovers and were out-rebounded, 40-35. Northwest Nazarene outscored MSUB 44-16 in the paint and earned 29 points off of turnovers. McKenna Walker (13), Coco Gall (12) and Raquel Jardine (11) all contributed double-digit points. Gall and Raquel Jardine both had seven rebounds. The Crusaders were 32-68 for 47.1 percent shooting from the field and 9-10 at the free-throw line. It was a big night for the NNU bench as the reserves contributed 49 of the team’s 78 points. The win improves Northwest Nazarene to 4-2 on the season and 2-0 in the GNAC. MSUB falls to 2-6 on the year and 0-1 in conference play. Hanson opened the game with a turn-around jumper. Cunningham earned a 3-point play on a layup and the point after on a free-throw. Hanson found Marissa Van Atta cutting to the hoop for a layup. Edwards snagged a rebound that Kane fed to Hanson. The Crusaders countered with four straight points on layups. Hanson scored six consecutive points at the free-throw line to keep MSUB ahead 23-20. Walker drew NNU to within a point on a pair of free-throws. Cunningham drew the lead back out to four with an open 3point shot. The Crusaders came back with a wild layup after a loose ball at half court. Hanson shot her only 3-point basket of the night to push MSUB ahead 30-28. With just over a minute left in the half, Raquel Jardine and Ellie Logan combined for four straight points to tie the game at 32. Cunningham matched the NNU shot with her second 3-point basket of the night. Just before the buzzer, Maya Rodgers put NNU ahead with a jump shot. The Yellowjackets forced two straight turnovers at the start of the second half they converted into points to retake the lead, 39-37. NNU fought back with an 11-1 scoring run, including a Walker 3-point and a pair of free-throws from Logan to move ahead 48-40. Plagued by turnovers in the third quarter, MSUB turned the ball over on five straight possessions that NNU was able to convert into points. Hanson broke the Yellowjacket scoring drought at the free-throw line, sinking one of two. Kane found Hanson under the rim on an inbounds play for another two. Edwards got her own offensive rebound after a missed 3-pointer, drawing a foul on the layup attempt. At the free-throw line, she put away both shots to close the gap to five, 50-45. In just under two minutes to play in the third quarter, the Crusaders added 10 points on more Yellowjacket turnovers, earning a 15point advantage.

In the fourth quarter, MSUB made one more run with an 8-2 scoring drive. Hanson scored four and Edwards two. Gall drew out the largest lead of the night, 20 points, on a jumper. Edwards earned the last two points of the game on freethrows. THE BUZZ: Tonight’s loss was just the second in the last 10 games against the Crusaders…Hanson, named the St. Vincent Healthcare Athlete of the Game, was 1-1 from the 3-point arc…Kane had two steals. UP NEXT: MSUB continues its opening GNAC weekend of action with a game on Saturday, Dec. 3, at Central Washington at 5:15 p.m. Pacific time. --@MSUBSports | #JacketNation--

Tight second half leads to opening GNAC loss for MSUB women’s basketball