The Minnesota State Mavericks women’s basketball team continued their losing streak this past weekend against the Minnesota Duluth Bulldogs and the St. Cloud State Huskies.
The Mavericks took on Duluth Friday on the road, providing a tough match-up, as the Bulldogs currently hold a conference record of 11-1. In the first quarter it was difficult for either team to score, due to the lack of possession of the ball, but eventually the Bulldogs ended the quarter with a 13-9 edge.
Despite being behind, the Mavericks began the second quarter with a 4-0 run to tie up the game at 13, until the Bulldogs came back with a 6-0 run. In the last seconds of the first half, the Bulldogs were in the lead by six points, but senior Kirstin Klitzke passed the ball to sophomore Anna Wanek, who scored a 3-pointer to put the Mavericks up 27-24.
In the first half of the game, senior Taylor Drost led MSU with six points, while sophomore Kristi Fett added four points and seven rebounds. As a team, Minnesota State held a 27-20 rebounding edge and in bench scoring, 10-4.
Duluth had a strong start to the third quarter, when the team scored several 3-pointers in the first few minutes, even though MSU scored six points as well. With 7:09 left in the quarter, the Bulldogs extended their lead to 40-30, leaving the Mavericks to creating new game plans. Throughout the remainder of the quarter, both teams would trade baskets until the Bulldogs ended the quarter with a 50-38 lead.
Early in the fourth quarter the Mavericks were able to cut the Bulldogs lead by 10 points, but they couldn’t break the double-digit barrier, resulting in a 69-58 loss.
Fett ended the game with a team-high 12 points and 10 rebounds, while Klitzke finished with 11 points.
As a team, MSU outrebounded Duluth 43-32, while the bench scored 27 points compared to 11 from Duluth.
The Mavericks traveled to St. Cloud on Saturday afternoon to play against the Huskies. Minnesota State was able to start the game with a 3-0 lead within the first few minutes, but St. Cloud was able to come back and take a 24-13 lead by the end of the quarter.
The Maverick offense found their power in the second quarter, as they were able to cut the Huskies lead from 14 points to four with 4:26 left in the half after senior Taylor Drost converted on an and-one.
A few possessions later, sophomore Rylee Menster drilled a layup to tie the game at 33-33 with 2:55 left. St. Cloud took back the lead late in the quarter from a couple of three-pointers, taking a 42-38 advantage at halftime.
Drost led MSU in scoring in the first half with 11 points while Fett brought in six points and five rebounds. The Mavericks forced turnovers while outscoring the Huskies at the free throw line 8-3.
The Huskies continued to extend their lead throughout the third quarter by nine points, with a score of 62-53 into the fourth quarter.
In the fourth quarter, the Mavericks took a late run and after a pair of free throws from junior Tayla Stuttley and a 3-pointer from Menster, the Huskies lead was cut to 81-77 with nine seconds left in the game. The Huskies scored a pair of free throws and after Stuttley’s 3-pointer rimmed out, the Huskies took the rebound, forcing MSU to foul. This gave St. Cloud the final point to win the game 84-77.
Stuttley ended the game with a team lead 18 points while Drost added 11, Fett finished the game with seven boards, to go along with eight points.
The Maverick bench outscored the Huskies bench 35-16, although St. Cloud held the rebounding edge 45-31.
The Mavericks will be back in the Taylor Center this Friday and Saturday to face Wayne State and Augustana. Minnesota State has a record of 4-6 with Wayne State, with the Mavericks last win being on Feb. 16, 2019. If the team can come together and create new game plans and start the game on a strong note, they should be able to win the game.
The game against Augustana will be more difficult for the Mavericks, due to the game record between the two teams being 1-9. As long as the Mavericks stay focused and don’t lose sight of the ball, they could take the home court advantage and win.