MSU Billings vs. Seattle Pacific

The Montana State Billings women's basketball team huddles before a game against Seattle Pacific at Alterowitz Gymnasium on Jan. 23, 2020.

BILLINGS — A large-scale women’s basketball event is coming to Billings this fall.

Montana State Billings will host the NCAA Division II Conference Commissioners Association Women’s Basketball Tipoff Classic tournament Nov. 5-7 at Alterowitz Gymnasium, MSUB announced via press release on Thursday.

The three-day event will feature 15 games and showcase 10 D-II teams from across the country and Canada. The tournament, branded as the “Tip Off at the Trailhead,” is the largest women’s basketball gathering ever hosted by MSUB, the school said.

“We have teams representing six different NCAA D-II conferences and from all over the United States and Canada,” longtime Yellowjackets coach Kevin Woodin said in the press release. “The level of play will be incredible and our basketball program will benefit from this special event.

“I truly hope people will attend as the Tipoff Classic will be awesome for both MSUB and our community. I really wanted to get this event to Billings to showcase women’s basketball on a national stage, and Nov. 5 can’t come soon enough.”

Notably, the tournament field will include two-time reigning D-II national champion Lubbock Christian University of Texas, which went 23-0 last year while defending its national title. The Yellowjackets will play Lubbock Christian on Nov. 6 a day after facing Minot State. MSUB will also take on Kutztown (Pennsylvania) on Nov. 7.

The remaining teams are made up of Nova Southeastern of Fort Lauderdale, Florida; Seton Hill of Greensburg, Pennsylvania; Simon Fraser of Burnaby, British Columbia; the University of Mary from Bismarck, North Dakota; Montevallo of Montevallo, Alabama; and the University of Tampa from Tampa, Florida.

All games will take place at Alterowitz Gymnasium on the MSUB campus. Tickets for the tournament will be available for purchase in advance online at a discounted rate, and will also be available for purchase at the door, MSUB said.

The Yellowjackets were also selected to host the Tipoff Classic in 2023, according to the release.

MSUB went 5-3 in an abbreviated non-league schedule last season. The Jackets also played two exhibition games against NAIA Lewis-Clark State, going 1-1.

The Yellowjackets opted out of a formal Great Northwest Athletic Conference schedule last November, citing concerns about the COVID-19 pandemic. The GNAC announced it would not play an official league season two months later.

MSUB is planning to play a full, unencumbered schedule in 2021-22, the school said.


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