BILLINGS — With the season on the line, MSU-Northern senior Natalee Faupel stepped up in a big way Thursday night.
The Butte High graduate poured in 27 points and pulled down nine rebounds to lead the Skylights to a 60-55 win over Loyola (Louisiana) in the first round of the NAIA women’s National Tournament at MetraPark Arena. Stats
Faupel hit three 3-pointers and shot 6 for 6 from the free throw line in the win. She was the lone skylight in double figures.
Molly Kreycik scored eight points in the win. Cydney Auzenne scored seven, while Shiloh McCormick tossed in six, and Jacy Thompson and Sierra Richards both tossed in five.
Zoie Miller scored 17 points to lead Loyola, which closes the season at 26-7.
The Skylights (24-8) will play Vanguard (California) or Linderwood-Belleville (Illinois) at 9:45 p.m. Friday.
Also Thursday, Lewis-Clark State rolled passed William Penn (Iowa) 59-45 for a first-round win. The Warriors play Bethel (Tennessee) at 6:15 p.m. Friday.
Montana Western, which won a first-round game Wednesday, plays Oklahoma City at 10:45 a.m.