The MSU women’s basketball team, fresh off an exhibition win over Waldorf, starts regular season play on Friday when they go on the road to face Northern Michigan.
The Mavericks technically started their season on Friday when they hosted Waldorf University of the NAIA in an exhibition game.
MSU got off to a hot start, roaring out to a 14-5 lead and finishing the 1st quarter up 23-15.
However, Waldorf held strong in the 2nd quarter, and ended up cutting MSU’s lead to four as they entered the half 42-38.
MSU would wake up in the third, holding Waldorf to eight points and extending their lead to 18.
Then, in the fourth, the Mavs tacked on plenty of late scores as they ended with a 93-66 victory.
The Mavericks are trying to build off of last year’s campaign, where they went 13-17 and lost in the 2nd round of the NSIC tournament.
In the NSIC preseason poll, the Mavericks were ranked ninth in the conference and fourth in the South Division. Looking nationally, the NSIC is looking to be especially weak in women’s basketball this year, as the conference’s top team, Sioux Falls, received only 8 votes in the preseason poll.
In the Massey Computer Ratings, which ranks all teams across all divisions, Minnesota State is currently ranked 74thin Division II and is considered better than some lower-level Division I programs such as Lipscomb and North Florida.
The Mavericks this year are especially young group, with only two seniors and seven freshmen on the roster. That youth and inexperience may be the biggest reason for MSU’s low preseason expectations.
However, after seeing the Mavs throttle Waldorf in the 2nd half on Friday, it’s easy to imagine a scenario in which the Mavericks can make a run at the top four or five in the conference.
Time will tell us whether this year’s squad can recapture it’s old winning form, or if we’ll see just another losing season.
Feature photo by Kjerstin Hall | MSU Reporter.