Turnovers were easy pickings for another home sweep

Minnesota State Women’s Basketball was able to walk away with a clean house from a home sweep versus UMary and Minot State. Forcing turnovers through hard defense was the key to success, which now propels the Mavs to a three-game win streak and a 17-3 record. 

Friday’s game against UMary was the first game back from a four-game road journey over the past two weeks. The Mavs gave UMary a warm welcome to the Taylor Center as they forced an absurd 45 turnovers, which was the Marauders downfall as they lost 86-60.

With these turnovers came scoring, and a lot of it. Mankato capitalized and recorded 48 points off of turnovers which were over half of the Mavs final points. 

“That’s one of our main things, we always strive to steal that ball and create off of turnovers,” said sophomore guard, Destinee Bursch. 

MSU ran an unyielding full-court press that specializes in trapping players in the center court, forcing them to get rid of the ball as soon as they can. Throughout the weekend, this created opposing players to launch the ball down the court into the hands of Maverick players. Eleven different MSU players created at least one steal against UMary. The Mavs finished the game with 21 steals and one stand-alone block. 

Four players were able to hit double-digit scoring while freshman guard , Natalie Bremer, and junior guard, Joey Batt, led the team. Bremer had 21 points; eight came from the free throw line. She also recorded 60% shooting on field goals and was the only player to record a block. Batt had 22 points, five assists and two steals. 

The game itself was mostly a consistent lead for MSU. In the second quarter, UMary went on a 18-10 run to tie the score at 29-29 but Bremer came up big and scored 11 to give the Mavs a five point lead going into the half. 

Once the second half began, the Mavs found their rhythm and didn’t hold back. The Mavs outscored the Marauders 22-18 in the third quarter and 24-7 in the fourth. This finalized the game. 

Saturday’s game against Minot State was more or less the same. Running the same full court trap the Mavs exploited an unready Beavers roster all game. This trap brings fluster and confusion. Opposing teams tend to rush which results in poor ball control and lackluster turnovers. 

The Mavs created 22 points off of the Beavers turnovers. They were also on fire from behind the line all game. In the first half, the Mavs scored 24 points from three pointers. They made eight out of 12, shooting 66.7%. 

Bursch lit up the Beavers defense all throughout the first half. She recorded 15 of her 20 points in the first two quarters. 

“I just shot the ball and hoped they went in. Which they did,” Bursch said. 

In the second half, Minot State centered their defensive focus on Bursch which allowed Batt to take over. Batt only found the net a couple times in the first half but the second half was a different story. Batt was able to end the game with 20 points as well. 

“Just played how I play,” Bursch said. “If I wasn’t scoring, I wanted to get the team more passes and create assists as much as I could.”

The game ended in a blowout of 96-78. MSU dominated the whole game. The Mavs’ time with the lead was a strong 37 minutes and there were only three lead changes during the whole game. The Mavs biggest lead of the game was 20 points, while Minot State’s was three points. 

MSU finished out the game with consistency. They hit 12 threes on 50% shooting from beyond the arc. They also shot 49% from the field with 87% from the free throw line. 

The Mavs capitalized at the Taylor Center and will look to do it all over again next week versus a worthy Southwest Minnesota State University team. 

“I’m just happy to be home,” Bursch said. 

Write to Luke Jackson at

Header photo: MSU Women’s Basketball team was two for two wins against UMary Friday, Jan. 27 and Minot State Saturday, Jan. 28. (Dylan Long)

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