The Minnesota State women’s basketball team were back in action Friday and Saturday for the Regional Crossover Challenge that was held in St. Joseph, Missouri.
The first of those two games was a 73-56 loss for the Mavericks against Southern Nazarene University. The Mavs started the game with a 5-0 lead, but Southern Nazarene answered with a 9-0 run. The Mavs were losing 34-30 at halftime, and started the second half with an early run like they did to start the game to put them up 42-38. The Mavs shot 11 for 18 from the field in the third quarter, while the Storm shot nine for 13. Both teams scored 22 points in the third quarter.
After the Mavs kept it close for three quarters, as they went into the fourth quarter down 56-52. The fourth quarter was where we saw the separation occur between the two teams. Southern Nazarene outscored the Mavs 17-4.
There was a huge discrepancy between the two teams in the three-point shooting department. The Mavs went 0-14 from three, while the Storm went 9-24. The Mavs struggled from the field overall, as they shot just 31.8% from the field.
Southern Nazrene’s Lauryn Reither led both teams in scoring with 26 points. She also had six rebounds, three assists and made her mark on the defense with three steals.
After the game, head coach Emilee Thiesse talked about how the Mavs’ defense impacts the team.
“Our defense just wasn’t what we needed it to be today. Our defense creates so much for us and we were missing that,” Thiesse said in a press release on the Maverick Athletics website.
The Mavs’ second game of the Regional Crossover Challenge also ended in defeat. This time they lost to Fort Hays State University 83-67. Despite only shooting 4-19 and 5-19 in the first and second quarter, the Mavs went into halftime down 29-24.
The Mavs improved their offense in the third quarter, as they went 8-21 from the field, including 2-5 from three and scored 21 points. However, the Tigers also improved on their scoring output compared to their first two quarters, and went 8-15 from the field, 10-10 from the free throw line and scored 28 points.
The Tigers started off the fourth quarter with a 12-4 run and were able to fend off the Mavs’ 6-0 run and ultimately outscore the Mavs 26-22 in the quarter.
Fort Hays State’s Katie Wagner led the way in scoring for both teams with 32 points. Wagner also had 11 rebounds and five assists. Natalie Bremer was the leading scorer for the Mavs, with 17 points.
Along with their defense needing to improve, taking more shots is something that the Mavs can do to take some of the burden off of that side of their game.
“We aren’t where we need to be as a team right now. I know we are hungry to improve and our defensive presence and consistency is where it starts. We certainly need to make more shots and take some pressure off our defense, but ultimately it will be our defense that brings us back to who we are. It’s time to get back to work next week,” Thiesse said.
Next up for the Mavs is a home game against the University of Minnesota, Duluth Nov. 21.
Header Photo: The Mavs welcomed five new signees this week on National Signing Day. They will join the team at the beginning of the 2024-25 season. (Courtesy Maverick Athletics)
Write to Mohamed Warsame at email@example.com