Shooting guards, 3-point sharpshooters and excellent ball handlers — those attributes are hard to find all in one package when it comes to NAIA and Frontier Conference women’s basketball.
The Montana State University-Northern Skylights have had their share of good ones over the years, and they’ve got one right now in senior Nikki Tresch.
Tresch, a 5-5 guard from Glenrock, Wyo., came to MSU-N last fall as a highly-touted shooter from Gillette College in
Gillette, Wyo., where she broke nine different school records. And she’s been everything the Skylights were hoping she would be. In her junior season, Tresch averaged 12 points per game and shot better than 39 percent from beyond the arc and 85 percent from the foul line, which was 10th-best in all of NAIA. She started all 30 games and helped the Skylights to a phenomenal season while earning Second-Team Frontier honors.
And Tresch, who’s already in her senior year, isn’t slowing down. Early in her final year of college basketball, she’s averaging 15 points per game, while shooting an astounding 43 percent from three. She’s a floor leader for the Skylights as well, and she’s hoping to make the most out of one last winter of hoops.
Here’s five questions with Northern’s little, big-time shooter as she prepares for home games this weekend against Walla Walla College.
HDN: In your first year at MSU-N, you guys had a great season, and you accomplished a lot individually. What was the best part of last year for you?
Tresch: “The thing I’ll never forget about last year was beating LC (Lewis-Clark State) at home. Not many teams beat them last year, but we played great that night and it was a huge win for us. That game, and winning a playoff game at home were great memories. Last year was a lot of fun. To come in here and be a part of a season like we had last year, it was great.”
HDN: With only two years here, you’re already a senior, and a leader of this team. What’s that like for you?
Tresch: “I’ve been thinking a lot about the fact that this year is my last hoorah in basketball. So I just want to make it the best season that I can. It was difficult at first, to come here and try and fit in with this team. And for junior college players it’s hard because you don’t have a lot of time to do it. But I’ve never been uncomfortable here. I think I’ve meshed with my teammates really well and playing here has been a great experience.”
HDN: You’re deadly from the 3-point-line. Were you always a good outside shooter?
Tresch: “It’s been something I’ve always worked at. But shooting also came really natural to me. I’ve had to work a lot harder at other parts of my game. But my uncle really helped develop my outside shot. He saw a lot of potential in my shot when I was younger. You always know what you’re strengths and weaknesses are, and shooting has always been one of my strengths, so I’ve always tried to get even better at it.”
HDN: What’s playing in your I pod before games?
Tresch: “I like slower, calming songs before games, like songs with good beats. I think when I was in high school, I listened to a lot of the more head banging songs to get me pumped up. But that’s not really how I feel before games now. So I try to listen to songs to help calm myself before games.”
HDN: After such a great season last year, what are your expectations for the rest of this season?
Tresch: “As a team, I think we can win a lot of big games and finish in the top half of the conference, at least. I think we’re a lot better team than our record shows right now, and I think we can have another great season. Individually, this being my senior year, I just want play as well as I can every game. I want to be able to look back and know I did my best in every game.”