Women’s hoops sweep tourney in San Antonio

After starting off the season with an exhibition loss to Division I school Drake, the Mavericks have been on a tear ever since. The Mavs have been on an undefeated stretch to begin the fresh 2021 season, winning their first 5 games of the season. 

Each game has been won quite handily for Minnesota State, with their smallest marginal victory coming by nine points. MSU won their first NSIC game of the season against Concordia-St. Paul on Nov. 23 before a quick break for Thanksgiving, before heading south to compete in the St. Mary’s Thanksgiving Classic.

The Mavericks arrived in San Antonio, Texas set to play Texas A&M-Kingsville in game one of the Classic. The Mavs came into their first match ready to handle business against the Javelinas, dominating the first half of basketball 38-21.

MSU did so behind a decent 44.4% field goal percentage at half, despite only shooting 20% from three-point range. The Mavericks also did their job on defense, forcing several turnovers in the first half despite the Javelinas shooting 50% from the field. 

After coming out of the half, Kingsville was able to make some great adjustments to hang in the game against an off and running Mavericks team. The Javelinas were able to find a way to get on the board consistently in the second half, but it was not enough as the Mavericks outscored them once again 40-38 to claim their first win of the Thanksgiving Classic 78-59.

Sophomore guard Joey Batt and senior forward Mikayla Nachazel both dropped 16 points against the Javelinas, while the team as a whole collected 20 steals in an amazing defensive performance. The Mavericks forced 34 total turnovers against Texas A&M-Kingville, before heading into their final game of the Classic.

The Mavs headed into game two facing off against the host team, St. Mary’s University. MSU once again got off to a hot start in the first half, outscoring the Rattlers 47-27.

The Mavericks dominated pace of play, while also shooting over 50% in the first half to the Rattlers’ 46%. Coming into the second half, all Minnesota State had to do was hold on, but St. Mary’s came out with plans of their own.

After only marginally outscoring the Mavs 24-22 in the third quarter, the Rattlers got on a roll in the fourth. The comeback was becoming more and more apparent for the Rattlers as the fourth went on, but the Mavericks were able to hold on despite being outscored 21-12.

With the 81-72 win, MSU now improves to 5-0 on the season including a 1-0 record in NSIC play. After claiming the Thanksgiving Classic crown over both Lone Star Conference opponents, the Mavs now move into strict NSIC play for the remainder of the season.

Batt proved once again to be a pivotal scorer for Minnesota State, leading the team with 17 points to go along with five steals and one rebound. Next up for the Mavs is NSIC opponent Upper Iowa, who has one win in five games this season. 

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