(MSU Billings release)
BILLINGS — Montana State University Billings men’s basketball head coach Mick Durham announced a full slate of 30 regular-season contests for the 2019-20 Yellowjackets season on Wednesday.
MSUB starts off with a return to San Diego for two games in the West Region Crossover Tournament. The ‘Jackets play Fresno Pacific University on Nov. 8, before taking on Point Loma Nazarene University at Golden Gymnasium on Nov. 9. The Yellowjackets lost last year in the same tournament to both squads.
“The San Diego tournament to open the season and then the tournament in Las Vegas before Christmas are highlights on the schedule for sure,” commented head coach Mick Durham. “Our first game against Point Loma isn’t so much about payback after we lost to them last year. It’s more about getting off to a good start this year. Point Loma played in the National Championship game a year ago so it’s important for us to get something out of that first weekend. We know both games will be tough.”
After the season opening tournament, the team will drive east of the magic city to take on regional NCAA Division II opponent Minot State University (Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference) on November 16 at the Minot State Dome. Last season, the ‘Jackets defeated the Beavers 96-65 in Billings. MSUB has its home opener scheduled for November 21 against Northwest College at 7 p.m. Despite Powell, Wyoming being just 97 miles from Billings it will be the first ever meeting between the two regional teams.
The ‘Jackets continue with an exhibition game against Rocky Mountain College at Fortin Center on November 23, then host Division II Adams State University on back-to-back nights November 29-30.
“We always draw nice crowds for our games against Rocky,” said Durham. “Last year was my first year experiencing the rivalry and I know our players will be excited again for the crosstown matchup. I know both teams have those games starred on the schedule for sure.”
Hoping to return to the Great Northwest Athletic Conference tournament in back-to-back seasons, the ‘Jackets begin their conference campaign with a trip to Simon Fraser University and Western Washington December 5 and December 7 respectively. Simon Fraser vaulted from last place in the league to a playoff spot last season, defeating MSUB along the way in a thrilling triple overtime game in Burnaby, British Columbia.
The schedule calls for a home exhibition against Rocky Mountain College on December 13, followed by a trip to Las Vegas for competition in the DII South Point Holiday Hoops Classic in the third week of December. There, the ‘Jackets will see Pittsburgh State University and either Drury University (Missouri) or Rollins College (Florida) depending on the result of game one.
The GNAC slate continues the rest of the way. MSUB’s longest homestand is four games from January 23 to February 1. After a flight to Alaska Fairbanks and Alaska February 20-22, the team finishes the regular season at home with games against Western Washington on February 27 and Simon Fraser February 29.
Promotional highlights include EMC Throwback Night on December 13 and Senior Night February 29. The top six teams in the conference qualify for the GNAC Championships scheduled for March 5-7 at Brougham Pavilion on the campus of Seattle Pacific University. There are also six doubleheaders with MSUB’s women’s basketball team on the schedule.
2019-20 MSUB Basketball Doubleheaders
Date Men’s Opponent Start Time Women’s Opponent Start Time
1/23 Alaska Anchorage 7:30 PM Seattle Pacific 5:15 PM
1/25 Alaska 5:15 PM Saint Martin’s 7:30 PM
2/13 Seattle Pacific 5:15 PM Alaska Anchorage 7:30 PM
2/14 Saint Martin’s 7:30 PM Alaska 5:15 PM
2/27 Western Washington 7:30 PM Western Washington 5:15 PM
2/29 Simon Fraser 5:15 PM Simon Fraser 7:30 PM
MSUB finished in sixth place in the GNAC in 2018-19, with an overall record of 15-14 and a league mark of 10-10.
“I think our first goal is always to get in the top six in the GNAC and make the postseason tournament again.” quipped Durham. “Then we can make things happen from there.”