After a dominating win in their home opener, Minnesota State Women’s Basketball looks to keep the momentum going.
This week the team will hit the road for the first of six times this season. Friday the Mavericks will play an out-of-conference matchup against the Fort Hays State Cougars. Looking to move to 2-0 on the season and continue to climb in the standings in the NSIC.
Last season during the first round of the NCAA Tournament was the last time these two teams met. The Cougars would defeat the Mavericks 66-61 to eliminate the Mavericks and end their season.
Entering this year’s contest, MSU is riding a title wave of momentum after a 110-42 victory over North Central. One of the main players that stood out in the contest was sophomore guard, Emily Herzberg. The second-year out of Melrose, Wis. was one of four players on the Mavericks to notch double-digit points.
“I think this year we have a lot of talent coming in and it’s the first game of the season,” said Herzberg. “Coaches have been looking for leaders to set up, so I just took that as a vote of confidence, and we were able to put up over a hundred points and everyone was gaining confidence with their shots.”
As for their opponent, the Cougars came off a phenomenal season going all the way to the championship game. Starting the new season, the team has disappointed with a record of 2-2. Coming off a gutsy win against The Univerisity of Sioux Falls, S.D. they return home to defend in their home opener.
Despite their record, many members from that run were underclassmen. One of the main pieces returning is sophomore guard, Katie Wagner. Last season she led her team in points, rebounds and steals as a freshman. Entering her second year the native of Maize, Kan. continues her dominance as she leads her team in points.
Even for all the challenges that the Cougars present to the Mavericks, they are not backing down. They still remember last year’s loss and have used it to drive them forward. Being one of the younger people on the team, Herzberg remains focused on what is ahead. Having the same mentality that several teammates and coaches preach and talk about on and off the court.
“Fort Hayes was the team that ended our season by one-point last season. So, we just want to come back and show who the Mavericks are and try to get the win,” said Herzberg. “But at the same time, it is also going to be a big learning point for our team.”
Header Photo: Minnesota State Women’s Basketball team aims for their second win while playing away this Friday, Nov. 18 at Fort Hays State in Hays, Kan. (Dylan Engel/The Reporter)
Write to Charlie Groebner at Charles.Groebner@mnsu.edu