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Round 3: Jackets ready for Seawolves in GNAC Championship - KTVQ.com | Q2 | Continuous News Coverage | Billings, MT

Round 3: Jackets ready for Seawolves in GNAC Championship

Posted: Updated:
LACEY, WA -

After being picked to finish seventh in the preseason conference poll, the MSUB Yellowjackets are one game away from claiming the GNAC title and a berth in the NCAA Division II national tournament.

MSUB will take on top-seed Alaska-Anchorage Saturday night in the conference title game at 8:30 pm MDT in Lacey, WA.

HOW THEY GOT HERE: On Thursday, MSUB fought their way through three quarters of being down to the sixth seed Northwest Nazarene before having a great fourth quarter, finishing with a 70-65 win in the quarterfinal matchup.

Alisha Breen put MSUB up with a jump shot at 7:42 left in the game. A 3-pointer from Breen two minutes later, sent the Yellowjackets ahead, 55-54, and from there MSUB held the lead to the end.

On Friday, MSUB went into the semifinal game against the second seed Western Washington and found themselves down again. The Vikings ran up the score 7-0 in the opening three minutes of play before the Yellowjackets stormed back using runs of 12-0 in the second quarter and 9-0 in the third quarter to sweep by the Vikings by a final of 78-60.

With their back-to-back wins, the Yellowjackets have earned a spot in the Great Northwest Athletic Conference tournament title game.

THE SEAWOLVES: Alaska Anchorage comes into the game tonight the defending tournament champions. The Seawolves finished the regular season with an 18-2 record to earn the regular season title and the No. 1 seed at the tournament. Alaska Anchorage was ranked as high as No. 1 in the nation. This week the Seawolves are ranked sixth in the nation. UAA is ranked first in the NCAA west region poll and has the potential to host the west region tournament next week in Anchorage.

THIS SEASON’S GAMES: MSU Billings lost both regular season games to Alaska Anchorage. During the first meeting, the Yellowjackets lost 70-50 in Anchorage. A 3-pointer from Monica Grimsrud put MSUB six points back, 50-44, with 6:14 left in the game, but UAA ran through the final five minutes on a 20-6 run.

In Billings, UAA led 41-29 at half-time. In the fourth quarter, MSUB surged forward, closing to within three points, 61-58, with 5:53 left, but Anchorage closed strong again, punching back up to lead by 14, before closing at an 85-73 win.

WHAT HAPPENS NEXT: The NCAA announcement show is on Sunday, Mar. 6 at 8:00 p.m. Mountain time on ncaa.com. During the show, the 64-team national playoff field will be unveiled. The tournament runs Mar. 11, 12 & 14, at a site to be determined. Last week, MSU Billings was ranked eighth in the west region poll. The top-8 teams in all eight national regions advance to the tournament. In the west region, all three conference tournaments have an automatic berth for their tournament champion. The additional five spots are awarded as at-large bids. During the selection show, each region’s matchups will be announced along with the host site. 

WEST

Rank

School

Overall DII Record

In-Region Record

1

Alaska Anchorage

28-2

26-2

2

Azusa Pacific

25-2

25-2

3

UC San Diego

23-3

23-3

4

California Baptist

27-1

27-1

5

Academy of Art

23-7

23-5

6

Cal State East Bay

23-4

23-4

7

Cal State Dominguez Hills

20-8

19-7

8

Montana State Billings

18-9

17-8

9

Western Washington

20-8

19-7

10

Point Loma

19-9

19-9

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