2004-2005 Women’s Basketball Wrap Up
BILLINGS, MT – The tradition continued for
the Montana State-Billings women’s basketball team in 2004-2005.
With a new coach at the helm—the team’s third in as many years—the
Lady Jackets returned to the NCAA Tournament for the ninth time
Under head coach Kevin Woodin, who took over
the program after years of success at Billings West High School,
the Lady Jackets earned the eighth seed in the NCAA West Regional
with a 21-6 regular season record. Coach Woodin was honored as
the DII Independent Coach of the Year after guiding the
Yellowjackets to a 21-7 overall record and a berth to the NCAA
MSUB was ranked seventh in the region for
several weeks prior to the tournament selection and won eight of
their final ten games. Despite the Jackets’ only two losses
during the home stretch coming to unbeaten North Dakota State,
MSU Billings still dropped into the eighth seed at tournament
That left the Jackets facing host and top
seeded Seattle Pacific in the opening round of the NCAA
Tournament. An ice cold shooting night on the Falcons’ home floor
ended the Jackets’ season with a 71-47 loss. MSU Billings wasn’t
alone, however, as SPU went on to with the regional title with two
more blowouts and advanced all the way to the NCAA Division II
National Championship game.
The Lady Jackets’ final regular season as an
independent (they’ll move to the Heartland Conference next year)
saw them go 13-2 at home and 7-4 on the road. Of their six
regular season losses, two were to NDSU and one was to Chico
State, which was the No. 2 seed at the West Regional tournament.
Spaced across the regular season were a six game winning streak, a
five game winning streak, and two four game winning streaks. Only
once all season did MSU Billings lose back-to-back games.
With such a successful season on the court,
the postseason accolades and awards were plentiful for the
2004-2005 Lady Yellowjackets. From team, university, and regional
honors to national statistical rankings, the Jackets made their
mark on the women’s basketball season.
Coach Woodin presented individual awards at a
team banquet at the Billings Hotel and Convention Center following
the season. Robyn Milne was named the team’s Most Valuable
Player. The senior center from Richey, Mont., was second on the
team in scoring at 12.9 points per game. She led the team in
rebounding (10.4 rpg), assists (3.2 apg) and blocked shots (3.7
Milne’s 104 blocked shots set a new single
season school record. She also set school career records for
rebounds (957) and blocked shots (278). Milne’s 1,066 points rank
her sixteenth in school history, and she is just the second player
in school history with over 1,000 points and 900 rebounds. Milne
was ranked nationally in two individual statistical categories.
She was sixth in NCAA II for blocked shots per game and 25th for rebounding average.
Milne received a number of awards in her
senior season, including her second team MVP honor. For the
second straight year she was named to the All-West Region second
team. She was also named to the NCAA Division II Independent
First Team and was the NCAA Division II Independent Defensive
Player of the Year. Accomplished on and off the court, Milne was
a CoSIDA Academic District VII First Team selection and was named
to the ESPN The Magazine Academic All-America Third Team.
One of Milne’s most prestigious awards of the
year came when she was announced as one of the University’s two
Outstanding Seniors for 2005. Milne graduated with a degree in
education and a 3.91 GPA. She was involved in Sigma Tau Delta and
the English Honor Society, and has worked as a teaching assistant
for English 150 classes. Off-campus, she worked as a coach at the
Billings Bees Basketball Camp and read to children in various
schools as part of the outreach done by the women's basketball
The Lady Jackets’ Offensive MVP award went to
Tanya Petersen. The junior forward from Billings, Mont., led the
team in scoring for the second straight year. She averaged 15.4
points and 5.6 rebounds per game. She was also named to the NCAA
Division II Independent Second Team. In three seasons Petersen
has scored 941 points, ranking her eighteenth in school history.
Michelle Lieber was named the Defensive MVP.
The sophomore forward from Gillette, Wyo., averaged 8.9 points and
8.1 rebounds a game in her first season as a Yellowjacket. She
transferred to MSU Billings after one year at Wyoming. Usually
assigned to guard the opposing team’s best player, Lieber also had
21 steals and 14 blocked shots on the season.
Angie Lessard was selected as the Most
Improved Player on the 2004-2005 Yellowjackets. The junior guard
from Elizabeth, Colo., transferred to MSU Billings from Otero JC.
She played sparingly in the early part of the season, but became a
defensive spark during the Jackets’ stretch run to the NCAA
Tournament. Lessard averaged 1.4 points a game and added 33
assists and 18 steals.
The team’s Most Inspirational award was
shared by Kayla Frize and Shannon Harvey. Frize, a junior guard
from Miles City, Mont., almost did not play this season following
her fourth knee surgery last year. She ended up playing in all 28
games this season, averaging 4.4 points 1.4 assists per game.
Frize will not return for her senior season of eligibility after
completing her degree this spring. Harvey, a sophomore guard from
Billings, Mont., also battled through injury for much of the
season. Along with an injured hand, she held off on knee surgery
until after the NCAA Tournament. Harvey averaged 7.5 points a
game and led the team with 54 made 3-pointers. She tied the
school single-game record with seven 3-pointers in a win over
Humboldt State in December.
The Yellowjacket Award, given to the player
who best exemplifies the positive qualities of the program, was
given to Jenny Langford. The junior guard from Reedpoint, Mont.,
started all 28 games and averaged 7.1 points and 2.3 assists per
game. She was second on the team with 44 made 3-pointers. After
three seasons, Langford ranks fourth in school history with 134
In the NCAA’s final Division II women’s
basketball statistical rankings, MSU Billings was ranked in the
top 45 in five team statistical categories. The Yellowjackets
were also ranked 31st in the nation for won-lost
percentage after going 21-7 (.750).
The Yellowjackets qualified for their ninth
NCAA Tournament in the past 12 seasons behind a solid defense.
MSUB ranked fifth in NCAA II for field goal percentage defense,
holding opponents to just 34.1 percent from the floor. The
Jackets were also 27th for scoring margin (+11.4), 30th for scoring defense (57.6 ppg allowed), 32nd for
rebound margin (+6.0), and 45th for free throw
MSU Billings narrowly missed making the top
50 for 3-point shooting. The Yellowjackets averaged 6.0 made
3-pointers per game to rank 53rd in the nation.