The Minnesota State women’s basketball team, who came into the weekend 14-4 overall and 10-4 in the NSIC, completed a successful weekend against MSU Moorhead and Northern State at the Taylor Center.
The Mavericks got out to a hot start Friday night against the 6-8 overall Dragons, putting nine points up on the board within the first three minutes before eventually going on an 11-0 scoring run to finish the first. Freshman guard Destinee Bursch hit a buzzer beater which put the Mavs up 25-11 going into the second.
It were the Dragons who started out strong during the second quarter, as Aliyah Miller hit a three to start things off. A back and forth second quarter had the Mavs up 52-31 going into intermission.
The Mavs dominated all of the third quarter as three of their top scorers started to heat up. Sophomore guard Joey Batt finished off the third quarter with 18 points, which was highlighted by a Maddy Olson assist where she escaped multiple Moorhead defenders to find Batt open for three. Freshman guard Destinee Bursch found a hot hand, hitting back-to-back shots to put the Mavs up by 23.
Later in the quarter Bursch would finish off a scoring drive with an outstanding euro-step move. The Mavericks would tally their biggest lead of the night, 26, before heading into the final frame up 70-49.
Moorhead would respond, however, getting out to a hot start of their own in the fourth while not allowing a single point in five minutes of play. This hot start wouldn’t be enough, as the Mavericks battled back to beat Moorhead by a final score of 84-70.
Saturday afternoon’s affair against Northern State was much tighter of a game than the night before, with a total of eight lead changes throughout the game. The Mavericks had lost eight of their last 10 against Northern State prior to the game, which dated back to 2014. Batt got things rolling for the Mavs, capitalizing off a Wolves’ turnover. This quarter would see several lead changes alone, and have Northern State up 25-23 going into the second.
Both teams would start out quiet in the second, with neither team recording a point within the first three minutes. Northern State’s Abby Holmes would break the silence as she finished a Wolves’ steal with a three. The final five minutes of the second quarter would be a back-and-forth battle, but a team effort would put the Mavs up 37-36 before half.
After a grueling first half, the Mavericks needed a similar, high-scoring third quarter like they did against Moorhead. Bursch would ignite for the Mavs, reaching 18 points by the end of the quarter. The Mavericks continued to add pressure, creating several turnovers at this point, and would lead Northern State 64-48 heading into the final frame.
Bursch would open the fourth quarter with a three, giving MSU their biggest lead of the game at 19. Northern State would create small scoring runs, but it was too little too late as the Mavericks would close out the weekend defeating the now 10-10 overall Northern State Wolves, 85-76.
The Mavericks return to action on Feb. 4 against Southwest Minnesota State in Marshall. Tip-off is set for 5:30 p.m. The Mavs will then travel to Sioux Falls for their tilt against the Cougars on Feb. 5. Tip-off is set for 3:30 p.m.
Header Photo: Sophomore guard Joey Batt (1) totaled 32 points, seven assists and eight rebounds over this past weekend.