Mavs look for redemption in NSIC Tournament

The Minnesota State women’s basketball team tip-off their Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference Tournament run in the quarterfinals against Minnesota State University Moorhead Saturday. 

The Mavericks go into the tournament after handily beating Bemidji State University 92-62 Saturday, and breaking the program’s single-game scoring record in their 123-61 victory over the University of Minnesota-Crookston Friday.

Last time out against Bemidji State, the Mavs had just a four-point lead at the end of the first quarter. Early in the second quarter, Bemidji State’s Erin Barrette hit a three-pointer to cut the Mavs’ lead to three points. The Mavs then broke the game open with a 16-0 run after Barrette’s shot. Natalie Bremer and Destinee Bursch both scored four points during that stretch, and Mackenzie Schweim and Hannah Herzig each contributed with three-pointers. This huge run helped the Mavs go into halftime with a 43-29 lead. 

The second half started with both teams trading baskets on their opening possessions. MSU then went on another massive run and established their dominance early in the third quarter. The Mavs scored 14 unanswered points that put them up 59-31 with 6:26 left in the quarter. 

MSU forced the Beavers to commit six turnovers during that stretch, while Bremer and Bursch each scored six points. 

The Mavs went into the fourth quarter with a 73-49 lead, and Bursch’s two quick layups 33 seconds into the quarter extended their lead to 28. The Beavers would go on a 6-0 run, before MSU’s Taylor Theusch ended their run with a three-pointer and kickstarted a Mavs’ 10-0 run. 

The Mavs ended the game shooting 44% from the field, 39% from the three-point line and made 15 of their 20 free throws. 

Bremer led the way in scoring for the Mavs with 18 points. She also had seven rebounds and five steals. Bursch ended the game with 16 points, three assists, three rebounds and four steals. Joey Batt scored 11 points, had five assists and four steals. 

As the team heads into the NSIC Tournament, head coach Emilee Thiesse said she believes the team responded well to the slight hiccup toward the end of the regular season.

“I thought our team responded really well after coming off of our loss last weekend. I think that sometimes can shake your confidence when you want to be building a lot of momentum. We talked a lot about how we could really use that as some motivation to really right some things that we needed to focus in on and I think we’ve done that over the course of the last two weeks,” Thiesse said. 

Even though the Mavericks didn’t know who they will be playing earlier in the week, their play style allows them to be ready for different opponents. 

“That’s one of the nice things about our style of play. We make little tweaks in maybe what we do with our full court defense, but it’s so chaotic and hectic, it really takes other teams out of what they want to do. So it makes our scout and our prep so much easier because we’re just constantly focusing on us and what we do, so that actually plays right into our hands when it comes to postseason play,” Thiesse said. 

Not letting outside noise distract the team is a key focus for having a successful tournament. 

“When our team was playing so well over that course of 19 games where we had that winning streak there, what really was separating our team was just how locked in we were to us and each other. We were having so much fun. Our road trips were enjoyable. We didn’t get caught up in, where do we have to go? Who do we have to play? We call that outside noise. We want to come back to that kind of that same, staying present and not getting caught up in outside noise,” Thiesse said. 

Header Photo: The Minnesota State women’s basketball team heads into the NSIC Tournament with a 23-5 regular season record. (Dylan Long/The Reporter)

Write to Mohamed Warsame at

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