Feller Collects First Big Sky Conference Player of the Week Award

By JOEL CARLSON

The Montana women’s basketball team played its way into first place in the Big Sky Conference last week, and the wins earned junior guard McCalle Feller her first career Big Sky Player of the Week award.

Feller averaged 20.5 points on 50 percent shooting and 5.0 rebounds as the Lady Griz swept Portland State and Sacramento State to extend their home winning streak against Big Sky opponents to 22.

Feller went 9 for 20 from three-point range in Montana’s 72-31 win over the Vikings and 94-86 victory over the Hornets to become the team’s third player to be recognized by the Big Sky this season. Senior Kellie Rubel has been honored twice, sophomore Kayleigh Valley once.The shooting guard from Lewistown, Mont., shared Monday’s Big Sky Player of the Week honor with Idaho State junior forward Apiphany Woods, who led the surprising Bengals (11-10, 6-4 BSC) to a 70-61 victory over Northern Colorado and 75-69 win over North Dakota last week.

McCalle Feller 1

Junior Guard, McCalle Feller. Photo courtesy of the University ofMontana.

Feller scored a career-high 25 points in Thursday’s win over the Vikings in a shooting display that certainly made Sonya Rogers and Katie Edwards, a pair of former Lady Griz sharpshooters also hailing from Lewistown, proud.

She hit four three-pointers and scored 14 points in the game’s opening six minutes to help Montana jump out to a 22-2 lead. She finished 7 for 12 from the arc and added a career-high four blocks on the defensive end as the Lady Griz limited PSU to 22.4 percent shooting.

The performance would have come as a surprise to anyone closely following Feller in the hour leading up to tipoff.

“Honestly I don’t think I hit a shot in warmups that night,” she said. “But for me it’s not about being hot or having a good night. Every shot in a game is its own shot, and that night I just had a lot of good ones.”

Two days later Montana faced a more formidable opponent in Sacramento State. First place in the Big Sky was on the line. Feller finished with 16 points and seven rebounds, and Montana scored the game’s final 10 points to improve to 20-0 against the Hornets at home.

“That was the type of game that helps me sleep well at night, because you’re so exhausted,” said Feller, a high-energy player who would seem to prefer a more up-tempo, high-possession game more often. That’s not the case.

McCalle Feller. Photo by

McCalle Feller. Photo by ©WilliamMunoz

“I liked the variety we had in our games last week, but I think our team does better in the type of old-fashioned game that (Lady Griz coach Robin Selvig) likes to coach. I think we do better when we run our stuff and go possession by possession. And when we do better, that’s what makes me happy.”

At the midpoint of the Big Sky Conference schedule, Montana (15-5, 8-1 BSC), which has won 13 of 14 games since an early-December loss to Wyoming, has a two-game lead on both Sac State (9-12, 7-3 BSC) and preseason favorite North Dakota (14-7, 6-3 BSC).

But five weeks of league games still remain, and Montana has more road games remaining than home games.

“Everything can change just like that,” said Feller, who ranks second on the team in scoring at 11.5 points per game. “That’s the way this conference is.

“You have to realize that anytime you play someone, you have to play your hardest, no matter your position of the other team’s position. That’s how you have to approach each game so you’re not caught off guard. I believe that’s how you keep winning games.”

Montana will play this week at Eastern Washington (11-8, 4-4 BSC) and Idaho (9-10, 3-5 BSC).

Montana Sports Information