Women’s Basketball returns home ranked

After starting the year 2-4, the Minnesota State women’s basketball team went on a 12-game win streak, earning a spot back in the WBCA NCAA Division II Top-25 Coaches Poll. 

To start the season, the Mavs were ranked second in the preseason polls. Their last two wins versus Minot State University and University of Mary propelled them just enough for national recognition. Now, ranked 25th, they are back in the polls for the first time this year. 

Throughout their 12-game win streak, they have taken down 11 conference teams which places them first in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference. On average, they won each game by 25.6 points.

They have the highest-rated offense scoring 77 points and the fourth-rated defense averaging 17 steals per-game. 

Against Minot, they won by attacking the glass. They collected 22 offensive rebounds and gained 25 points off of second chance points. Natalie Bremer led the team with 21 points and six rebounds. Three other players scored double digit points in the 87-72 win. 

After the game, head coach Emiliee Thiesse stated the team needs to be more consistent with their “defensive edge.” In the following win against UMary, they had 16 steals which converted into 30 points off turnovers. 

The back and forth game had 13 lead changes and 10 tied scores. Ultimately, Joey Batt and personal fouls led the team to victory. Batt earned 21 points, four rebounds and three steals. The team went 16-24 on free throw attempts in the fourth quarter which closed out the nail-biter, 76-66.

The Mavs now host St.Cloud State University Friday and Minnesota State University, Moorhead Saturday. Both teams sit in the middle of the conference. St. Cloud is 7-5 while Moorhead is 6-6. 

Ashley Sawicki leads St.Cloud. While just being a sophomore, she was named to the NSIC’s Shining 5. This is her second NSIC weekly honor of the year. She averaged 13.5 points, 8.0 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 1.5 steals in their pair of home wins this past weekend. She shot 68.8% from the field and posted a double-double with 12 points and 12 rebounds.

Their trip to MSU will be their first time leaving home in 20 days.  SCSU closed out their four-game homestead going 3-1, winning their last three with a margin of 13.7 points. 

For Moorhead, they are also coming off a four-game homestand. The Dragons were not as successful as they went 1-3 and are coming to Mankato on a two-game losing streak. 

Natalie Jens leads the team with 15.8 points per game. She also has 70 assists and 38 steals this season.

Photo caption: The Minnesota State women’s basketball team has earned the WBCA NCAA Division II Top-25 Coaches Poll after a 12-game win streak. (Courtesy Maverick Athletics)

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