A former Montana prep standout likely played her last college game.
Montana State-Northern senior guard Jacy Thompson, an honorable mention all-American in 2016, has been shut down for the season, MSU-N coach Chris Mouat confirmed to 406MTSports.com.
Thompson suffered a knee injury, though the exact extent of the injury has not been made public.
MSU-N declined any further specifics aside from noting Thompson’s history of knee problems.
“She’s had a lot of surgeries on both knees. A lot,” Mouat said. “It’s tough. It’s the best thing for her too. She met with the doctor and I wasn’t there. It’s a tough one.”
The Havre Daily News first reported the end of Thompson’s career.
Thompson, who prepped at Townsend High, last played on Jan. 13 against Montana Western, and missed the last two games.
“She’s been basically a starter for her career here,” Mouat said. “She’s done a lot. With this team being so new, she’s got by far the most minutes. She’s kind of the glue. Our kids are rallying and doing that they can. It’s a big hole.”
Thompson was third in the team in scoring at 12.1 per game. She averaged 5.4 rebounds and led the team in steals at 1.4 per night. Her 85 percent clip from the free-throw line ranked No. 6 in the NAIA.
She ends her career with averages of 11.1 points, 2.9 rebounds, and two assists per game.
She had a career high of 39 points in 2015-16, a season when she averaged 14 points per game, leading to her NAIA All-American honorable mention.
The Skylights (9-10, 1-7) have struggled this season after much turnover from a year ago. Northern lost four of its five players who saw the court most last season during the Lights’ 24-9 season and run to the NAIA Tournament. Thompson, who contributed 31 minutes per game a season ago, was the biggest contributor to return.
She garnered the respect of opposing coaches, too.
“One of the best to play at MSU-Northern,” Carroll College coach Rachelle Sayers tweeted, “Very sad to see her not be able to finish her career out. A loss for the Skylights and Frontier Conference.”
Thompson will remain with the team in a supportive role, though she’s likely donned the Skylights’ colors for the final time.
“She’ll be with us,” Mouat said. “She’ll be with us until the end.”
Northern hosts No. 23-ranked Lewis-Clark State College and the resurgent Bulldogs of Montana Western this weekend.
Imhoff, Robinson on watch list
The Small College Basketball Bevo Francis Award Top 100 Watch List featured two of the Frontier Conference’s brightest.
The initial list featured Carroll College forward Ryan Imhoff and Western guard Dom Robinson. Both were largely considered the top players in the conference entering the season.
Imhoff leads the Frontier with 20.4 points per game and 2.7 steals per game. He also averages 7.2 rebounds and 4.1 assists per game. He is shooting 53 percent from the field and 83 percent from the free-throw line.
Robinson leads the Frontier in assists at 5.4 per game. He is averaging 18.9 points, 3.5 rebounds and a little more than a 1 steal per game. He has a 2.9-to-1 assist-to-turnover ratio.
The award is given to the best player in the nation and considers universities in all divisions of the NCAA, NAIA and USCAA and NCCAA.
The list is trimmed to 50 players on Feb. 15, 25 players on March 15 and finalists will be named on March 31. The winner is announced on April 2.
Tech announces football recruiting class
Montana Tech’s football recruiting class is nearly complete. The school sent out a release detailing each of 40 recruits, including 23 from Montana.
The Orediggers also pulled from Alaska, California, Idaho, Oregon and Washington. Stats, a quote from Tech football coach Chuck Morrell and other details on the athletes are included in the release.
Tech went 6-4 last season, ending the season on a three-game losing streak as injuries slowed the Orediggers. The season is probably most memorable for Tech’s 93-19 victory over Montana State-Northern, which propelled the Orediggers into the national spotlight.
As Tech reloads for another season, you can read more about the 2018 recruiting class here: www.godiggers.com.
Providence launches esports team
Providence joined a growing trend of colleges around the nation with its announcement of an esports team, set to compete in 2018-19.
Esports is the term for competitive video games, with games such as Counter-Strike, which is now broadcast on TBS, or League of Legends, which has a worldwide following.
UP currently fosters an esports headed by Aaron Stucker, who is billed to become the team’s coach. According to the release, the team will compete in League of Legends, and also consider a few other titles as well. UP will join the National Association of Collegiate Esports.
“While the sport is a bit outside of the comfort level of most people in the athletic industry, including myself, its growth and appeal are undeniable,” vice president for athletics Dave Gantt said in the release. "Instead of ignoring it, or passing it off as a fad, we want to embrace it and make it part of who we are."
The school touted the creation of the team as another way to increase enrollment numbers and plans to create space on campus for the team to practice. UP has also added women’s wrestling and men’s and women’s hockey in the past year.
MSUN, Providence ranked
Providence grabbed the No. 7 spot and Montana-State Northern tied for 12th in the latest NAIA Wrestling Coaches’ Top 20 poll. Both are members of the Cascade Collegiate Conference for wrestling.
Both schools slightly dropped. Providence moved down from No. 6 to 7 and Northern went from 10 to 12. The final regular season wrestling poll comes out February 7.