Minnesota State’s Women’s Basketball season draws closer to an end as they only have three weeks remaining of regular season play. MSU is currently on a three-game win streak and are 17-3. This week, they look for redemption versus Southwest Minnesota State as they were the first team to defeat the Mavs.
SMSU is now 13-8 and is in third place in the NSIC southern division, below Mankato and Augustana. They are currently on a two-game win streak and will be hungry to take down Mankato once again as MSU is on top of the southern division, tied for first place.
On Dec. 17, 2022, MSU traveled to Marshall, MN. to take on the Mustangs. At the time, the Mavericks were on a ten-game win streak and remained undefeated. When they left Marshall, they received their first loss of the season as the game ended 85-88 Mustangs on top.
“We were a different team then and they were too,” said Coach, Emilee Thiesse. “We can’t get caught up on who we played last time, we are a different team now. I give huge credit to Southwest. I thought they did a great job executing their game plan, we just were not at our best in that game.”
In the loss, the Mustangs had five players score double-digit points with Sam Wall, putting up 25. MSU will need to keep her in control to find the win this week.
“I think our focus will need to be geared toward us and how we play. If we do that we will keep their players at bay. We will lose our edge if we only try to focus on prioritizing their scoring,” said Thiesse.
Throughout the year, the Mavs have been running a harsh full-court trap that shuts down offenses and looks to dismantle the opposing team’s pace of play. On Friday, they ran it to perfection as they forced over 40 turnovers in one game.
“When we run that full-court press and are dialed in, we can find ourselves more in the driver’s seat in games,” said Thiesse.
The Mavs’ second home game of the weekend is against a weak Sioux Falls team with only three conference wins. With an overall record of 6-16, the Cougars sit dead last in the conference.
The last time MSU faced the Cougars, it was a blowout of 92-54. In the game, sophomore guard, Destinee Bursch, put up 28 points in only 21 minutes of play. Mankato also had three other players record double-digit points.
Nonetheless, it is still a quintessential game for the Mavericks to perform and win if they want the best NSIC record.
“As long as we keep playing how we did this weekend, the southern division is ours,” said Bursch.
Write to Luke Jackson at Luke.Jackson2@mnsu.edu
Header photo: MSU Women’s Basketball aims to keep their winning streak as they play Southwest Minnesota State Friday, Feb. 3 at 7:30 p.m. and Sioux Falls Saturday, Feb. 4 at 5:30 p.m. (Dylan Long)