Montana State Billings used a balanced attack and a big first half to run away with a 70-50 Great Northwest Athletic Conference women’s basketball win against Alaska Thursday night at the Patty Center.
The Yellowjackets (15-5, 9-3 GNAC) were led by Monica Grimsrud, who had 12 points and seven rebounds while Quinn Peoples had 10 points and seven boards off the bench. Five other MSUB players combined for 41 points and 18 rebounds.
Billings shot just shy of 40 percent (27-68) for the game while limiting the Nanooks (2-18, 0-12 GNAC) to 31 percent (19-62) shooting. It dominated the boards by a 52-38 margin, including 20-14 on the offensive glass and outscored the ‘Nooks 20-9 on second chance points.
Sophomore guard Kelly Logue (Fair Oaks, Calif./Communication) led the Nanooks with game-highs of 13 points and four steals. Junior guard Marissa Atoruk (Kiana, Alaska/Business administration) hit two treys off the bench and had nine points while senior guard Taylor Altenburg (Elko, Nev./Justice) turned in eight points, eight rebounds and three assists.
Aside from the 31-percent shooting night, Alaska also struggled from beyond the arc, converting just 11 percent (2-19) of its three-point attempts.
MSUB came out firing early, as it opened the contest with three triples in the first 2:10 to help give it a 13-2 lead. After a layup by the Nanooks, the ‘Jackets scored seven of the next eight to lead 20-5 only five minutes in. The visitors led by as many as 21 and took a 40-22 lead into halftime.
The Nanooks cut into the deficit early in the second as they opened the stanza with a 6-2 run to bring them to within 42-28 but the Yellowjackets answered right back with six in a row to up the lead to 48-28 with 15:38 left. Leading 48-32, MSUB went on a 13-2 run to take control at 61-34 and Alaska never drew closer than 18 the rest of the way.
Alaska hits the court again on Saturday at 3 p.m. against Seattle Pacific. The Falcons (12-8, 6-6 GNAC) fell 93-82 in a shootout at Alaska Anchorage on Thursday night. Saturday will be the team’s Play 4Kay game to raise breast cancer awareness. In addition, it’s also Kids Day at the Patty Center as all children in eighth grade and under will be admitted free of charge to see the game.