The Minnesota State women’s basketball team kicked off the new year with a 69-48 victory over Northern State University Friday.
The Mavericks headed into the start of conference play having lost both games in the Regional Crossover Challenge to Southern Nazarene University and Fort Hays State University. They then lost their opening conference game to the University of Minnesota-Duluth.
Since that three-game losing streak in November, MSU’s win against Northern State made it eight straight for the Mavericks.
In the Northern State game, the Mavs jumped out to a 15-5 lead, which included back-to-back three-pointers by Natalie Bremer and Joey Batt. The Mavs’ early lead was reduced slightly by the time the first quarter ended, and they went into the second quarter up 20-12.
MSU started the second quarter with a 7-3 run, which gave them a 27-15 lead. However, the Wolves wouldn’t go away just yet and responded with a 13-6 run to end the quarter and reduce the deficit five.
In the first half, the Mavs shot just 10 for 35 from the field — just under 29%. They also shot 3 for 9 from three-point range, and were able to get 13 free throws attempts and make 10 of them. Despite some of the struggles the Mavs had with shooting in the first half, their defense allowed them to stay in control of the game by forcing 15 turnovers. Eight of those were steals. Even though the Wolves shot just under 40% from the field, they had eight fewer field goal attempts than the Mavs.
Just like they did at the start of the game, the Mavs started the second half hot. They jumped out to a 9-0 run and extended their lead to 42-28. The Wolves had a 9-2 run of their own to cut the Mavs’ lead to seven before the Mavs would close out the third quarter strong and go into the fourth quarter up 52-39.
“At halftime we weren’t really satisfied with where we were at, and we came out with the second half, hungry and ready to work,” Bremer said in a postgame interview on the Minnesota State Mavericks YouTube channel.
Northern State started off the fourth quarter with a 5-2 run to cut the Mavs’ lead to 10 points with 7:22 left. The Mavs responded with a two-pointer by Destinee Bursch and a three-pointer by Batt to get their lead back up to 15 points and eventually win 69-48.
The leading scorer for the Mavs and the game was Bremer with 21 points. She also had four rebounds and four steals. The Mavs ended the game shooting 37% from the field, shooting five for 17 from three-point range and making 12 of 17 free throws. They also ended up forcing 28 turnovers from the Wolves.
Bremer was 5 five for five from the free throw line and getting some looks from the charity stripe helped her stay the course.
“Getting to the free throw line, seeing the ball go through the hoop was a big game-changer for me, and kind of just staying the course, knowing that they’re going to fall and keep going,” Bremer said.
Next up for the Mavs is a trip to Bemidji State to take on the Beavers.
Header Photo: Minnesota State forced 28 turnovers against Northern State. Courtesy Maverick Athletics. (Photo courtesy Mavericks Athletics)
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