The Seawolf women’s basketball team is going toe-to-toe with the Montana State Billings Yellowjackets Saturday Feb. 9. The bout will go down at the Wells Fargo Center and tips off at 7 p.m.
With the final stretch of their schedule approaching, the Seawolves are still fighting for a spot in the GNAC postseason tournament. A win over the Yellowjackets would help increase their odds of playing in March.
In what might be the biggest x-factor of this game, senior point guard Sasha King is working her way back on to the court after missing time with an ankle injury. Although, the ‘Wolves did put together some fine performances without her.
Despite King’s absence, the squad earned GNAC Team of the Week honors for Jan. 21-27. Everyone on the team played at a higher level to make up for King, and it resulted in road victories against Western Oregon and Saint Martin’s.
With that said, King is a vital part of this program. She’s what people call a game changer.
After dropping a tight season-opener to Colorado Mines, King talked about the Seawolves’ offense and what makes it effective. Put simply, she said it’s all about movement. The five girls on the court are constantly in motion when they don’t have the ball – slipping around screens, and racing through the backdoor.
In the eye of the storm is King; directing the offense, and making sure the ball gets where it needs to go.
The Karl Malone to King’s John Stockton would be senior forward Alysa Horn. Horn is a rock down low. She’s a nine-to-five lunch pale player who grinds to get position and pull down rebounds. Yet she can also hurt you from the outside, which makes her an extremely frustrating player to defend.
Horn is nearly averaging a double-double on the season, posting 14 points and eight rebounds a night. She’s also been an iron woman for the Seawolves, logging more than 35 minutes per game.
Sophomore guard Alli Madison and junior guard Kylie Burns are two more players to watch out for. Madison was a major part of what sparked the Seawolves’ GNAC Team of the Week performance, and she was awarded Red Lion Player of the Week for her efforts.
You don’t have to spend much time scouting the Yellowjackets to figure out Bobbi Knudsen is a problem. Knudsen is a junior point guard who’s averaging over 18 points and six dimes per outing.
The backcourt showdown between King and Knudsen is a lock to be entertaining.
While Knudsen and King exchange blows, the Yellowjackets’ will probably send sophomore forward Janiel Olson at Horn. Olson’s a rebounding specialist who also leads her team in steals.
Saturday’s game pits two teams against each other who could possibly meet again come tournament season. It should be an exciting one.
The Seawolves are back in town Feb. 21 and 23 for games against Saint Martin’s and Western Oregon. Both matchups take place at the Wells Fargo Center at 5:15 p.m.