Women’s basketball to face Southwest Minnesota State in NSIC tournament

The Minnesota State women’s basketball team finished off the regular season this past weekend with wins against the Upper Iowa Peacocks and the Winona State Warriors. The Mavericks finished off the regular season 20-5 overall and 16-5 in the NSIC.

This is the first time since the 2013-14 season that the Mavericks have reached the 20 win mark, and the fourth time in head coach Emilee Thiesse’s career. MSU also claimed the top spot in the NSIC south division and secured the important first round bye.

This season has proven to be an exciting season for the Mavericks. Thiesse spoke about how far the team has come since the beginning of the season. 

“We started this season really hot and cracked the top-25 rankings,” Thiesse said. “We were doing some really good things. We knew we just needed to get better at making some in-game adjustments.”

Minnesota State also announced on Monday they have signed Lino Lakes native Hannah Herzig, who will join the Mavericks for the 2022-23 season. The 6’0” combo guard averages 21.8 pts per game and recently surpassed the 1,000 pt mark at Totino-Grace High School. 

Herzig was also named All-Northwest Suburban Conference honorable mention as a junior and played for the Centennial High School team, who finished third in the state in 2019. Thiesse was excited when talking about the new addition to the upcoming class. 

“We are really excited,” Thiesse stated. “It’s going to be a super exciting, complete class.”

The ending of a historic regular season for the Mavericks women’s basketball team also means the start of the NSIC tournament. Minnesota State is set to take on Southwest Minnesota State University in the first round of the tournament. 

The Mavericks and Mustangs split the regular season series with each team winning and losing one game. MSU took game one by a score of 96-74 and dropped game two 46-63. 

Mankato owns the all-time record against Southern Minnesota at 44-22. However, the last ten matchups have proven to be a toss-up at 5-5. 

Thiesse mentioned what the focus has been for her team these past few weeks and heading into playoffs. 

“Over the past few weeks, our biggest focus was to be in the present and to soak in every opportunity to be together,” she said. “To make our opportunities full of experience and energy and to just enjoy that.” 

In addition, Thiesse stated, “Our energy has probably been the best it’s been all year. We want to continue to carry that momentum and energy into the first round of playoffs.”

Minnesota State will take on Southwest Minnesota State on Feb. 26 at 7 p.m. at the Pentagon in Sioux Falls, SD. This will be the second round of the NSIC/Sanford Health Tournament.

Header Photo: ​​Sophomore guard Joey Batt (1) leads the Mavericks in scoring at 15.3 points per game while also collecting 3.4 rebounds per game. Batt led MSU to their first 20-win season since 2014 this year. (Dylan Engel/The Reporter)

Write to Karson Buelow at karson.buelow@mnsu.edu.

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