The Minnesota State Mavericks women’s basketball team struggled to find their edge when they faced the Sioux Falls Cougars and the Southwest Minnesota State Mustangs, as both games resulted in a Mavericks loss this past weekend.
On Friday, the Mavericks traveled to the Stewart Center to take on the Cougars. In the first quarter, both teams traded baskets until Sioux Falls was able to score a couple of three pointers to take the lead. The Mavericks responded back when sophomore Kristi Fett dropped in a layup and with this, Minnesota State took their first lead at 11-10 with 4:31 left in the quarter.
In the time remaining, the Cougars went on a 14-7 run, ending the quarter with a 24-18 lead. To kick off the second quarter, the Cougars went on a 15-6 run in the opening minutes. With the Mavericks down 50-28 with just over a minute left in the half, the team quickly scored six straight points, which included a buzzer beater from junior Tayla Stuttley, leaving the score 50-34 at the end of the half.
In the second half, Sioux Falls went 7-for-10 on 3-pointers, compared to the 2-of-6 for Minnesota State, accounting for a 15-point difference. Fett led the Mavericks in the second half with eight points, as well as three boards, a block and a steal. The Cougars carried their theme of outscoring the Mavericks from the first half into the end of the third quarter to extend their lead to 74-52.
Players from both teams got involved in the fourth quarter and although everyone fought hard, Sioux Falls ended up winning the game, 91- 68. Fett and senior Taylor Drost both scored 13 points for the Mavericks, while freshman Joey Batt added 10 points. The bench for the Mavericks outscored the Cougars, 38-25, but Sioux Falls held the edge in 3-pointers made 13-to-4.
On Saturday evening, the Mavericks traveled to Marshall to take on Southwest Minnesota State. Although the Mavericks were able to put up a great defensive system in the opening minutes, the Mustangs were able to find shortcuts and take an 8-4 lead with 4:45 left in the first quarter.
Even though Fett was able to score a pair of baskets down low, the Mavericks were outscored 13-6 for the rest of the first quarter, entering the second quarter down 21-10. Minnesota State was able to bring together a strong offensive play in the second quarter, with a 13-6 advantage in the first five minutes, cutting the Mustangs lead to 27-23.
SMSU outscored the Mavericks 6-3 in the last few minutes of the half, taking a 33-26 lead. Fett led the Mavericks in the first half with six points, five rebounds, a block and a pair of steals. Although Minnesota State came out of the gates firing to start the third quarter, Southwest Minnesota was able to outscore the Mavericks 20-11 in the quarter to take a 53-37 lead into the fourth quarter.
The Mavericks were able to cut the lead to 10 points a few times, but the deficit proved to be too much, as the Mustangs were able to pull away in the final minutes for the 78- 56 win.
Batt ended the game as the leading scorer for Minnesota State with 11 points, while junior Rachel Shumski followed with 10 points and three rebounds. Senior Kirstin Klitzke finished the game with seven points, seven boards and five assists.
Minnesota State will continue to travel the road when they face the Minnesota Duluth Bulldogs on Friday night and the St. Cloud State Huskies on Saturday afternoon.
Header photo: Minnesota State center Kristi Fett (50) shoots the ball against Michigan Tech at the Taylor Center Monday, Nov. 18, 2019 in Mankato, Minn. (Kjerstin Hall/MSU Reporter)