With one blowout and one failed attempt at a comeback, Minnesota State’s women’s basketball team’s new year has already brought ups and downs.
The women’s basketball team went into the weekend ranked No. 5, with one loss on the season. They hosted the St.Cloud Huskies Friday and No. 23 ranked Duluth Bulldogs Saturday.
Friday’s game started off strong with five different Maverick players scoring in the first quarter, building a lead early of 19-11. Momentum built off the juniors as Joey Batt, Emily Herzberg and Taylor Theusch all had six points early on.
By Halftime, the score was 43-28, as the Mavs were taking full advantage of the Huskies’ abysmal 19 turnovers in the first half of regulation. Mankato was able to capitalize off of the Huskies lackluster offense, as they created 17 points from their turnovers.
As they continued to create offense from their defensive work, they built the lead more as the game continued. The Mavs took full advantage of their lead and were never down throughout the whole game. Both teams traded buckets throughout the second half but the Huskies were never able to find the stops they needed.
In the second half, Mankato scored 43 points, while St. Cloud scored 33, giving the Mavs a 25 point victory of 86-61.
Batt was able to put up 18 points and eight steals throughout the game. She led the Mavericks in steals, while nine different players were able to get steals of their own. St.Cloud had 34 turnovers, which created 30 points for the Mavs. Bremer was also able to tally 18 points of her own.
Mankato was unable to bring their momentum from Friday to Saturday, as it brought the women’s team their first home loss of the season, falling to 12-2. The No. 23 ranked Bulldogs came to fight, as they found a way to win in a nailbiter.
At the half, Duluth had the advantage, as the score was 45-37. With 53 seconds left in the third quarter they managed to lead by 16 points with the score at 68-52.
From there on, Mankato rallied and their defense showed up. The Mavs held the Bulldogs to zero three pointers in the fourth quarter and only two field goals were allowed as well.
In the fourth quarter,the Mavericks scored 23 of the game’s last 30 points, as they shot 44% from the field. However, it ultimately wasn’t enough.
Mankato’s Emily Russo hit a three to take a last minute lead of 73-70 with 2:40 remaining in the game. The Bulldogs were on a nine minute scoring drought until two free throws came from Duluth, making the score 73-72. Then, Kaylee Nelson was able to get a layup in to give UMD the advantage once again.
The game finished off with Destinee Bursch scoring close in the paint with 46 seconds remaining, but Nelson struck again hitting another layup. Her teammate Brooke Olsen finished the game off with two smooth free throws to bring the first home loss to the Taylor Center for the girls.
The bench for Mankato proved to have more depth with 27 points to UMD’s 13, but they couldn’t contain their starting five’s 65. The Mavericks are now 8-2 in NSIC play while the Bulldogs are dominating at 10-0.
The Mavs will look to regain their recent momentum with two away games this upcoming weekend playing Minnesota Crookston Friday and Bemidji State Saturday.
Write to Luke Jackson at Luke.Jackson.firstname.lastname@example.org
Header Photo: The Women’s basketball team take their first loss at home Saturday against the Minnesota Duluth Bulldogs 78-75. (Dylan Engel)