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Kane, Breen Power Yellowjackets Into West Regional Final
Montana State Billings senior guard Rylee Kane tallied four of the Yellowjackets' final six points to finish with a game and career-high 31.
Montana State Billings senior guard Rylee Kane tallied four of the Yellowjackets' final six points to finish with a game and career-high 31.

Saturday, March 10, 2018

AZUSA, Calif. – It was the Rylee Kane and Alisha Breen show Saturday afternoon as the senior duo combined for 58 points to lead No. 7 seed Montana State Billings to the NCAA Division II West Regional championship game for the first time since the 2013-14 campaign.

Kane pumped in a game and career-high 31 points on 11 of 15 shooting while Breen supplied 27 points to power the Yellowjackets past No. 3 seed UC San Diego 75-73 in the tournament’s opening semifinal matchup inside Azusa Pacific University’s Felix Event Center.

Montana State Billings (24-11) improves its win streak to six games and will face the winner of the second semifinal contest between No. 5 seed Alaska Anchorage and No. 8 seed Humboldt State on Monday at 7 p.m. (Pacific).

Of Kane’s 31 points, none were more important than her final four. Down 70-69 with 31 seconds left in the game, Kane blew past her defender and finished a contested right-handed layup to give MSUB a one-point advantage.

Up three with 10 seconds on the clock, Kane knocked down a pair of free throws ice the contest and give the Yellowjackets their first win against a California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) opponent this season.

Breen, on the other hand, broke the GNAC all-time scoring record after finishing the night with 1,960 career points. Her mid-range jumper in the second quarter surpassed the previous mark held by Simon Fraser’s Erin Chambers who totaled 1,946 points in her four-year career.

The Tritons’ Dalayna Sampton pumped in a team-high 30 points on 13 of 23 shooting while Kayla Sato chipped in 10. The Yellowjackets limited UCSD to 37 percent shooting from the floor while Breen recorded her 12th straight 20-point game.

Tightly contested in the final four minutes of the game, it was MSUB that stepped up during crunch time. During the stretch, there were four lead changes while the teams combined for six field goals made. Freshman Hannah Collins knocked down a pair of vital free throws to give the Yellowjackets a 73-70 advantage with 21 seconds remaining.

Despite UC San Diego’s Sydney Sharpe knocking down her fourth three-pointer of the night with two seconds on the clock, Montana State Billings was able to hold on for its second championship berth in as many weeks.

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