Minnesota State Moorhead pulled down 17 offensive rebounds in its 72-62 win over Southwest Minnesota State in Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference action on Saturday. With the loss, SMSU drops to 2-15 overall, 1-11 in the NSIC, while MSUM improves to 9-7 overall, 6-6 in the NSIC.
MSU Moorhead controlled the Mustangs throughout the game as the Dragons dominated the boards with a 45-32 advantage including 17-9 on the offensive end.
Three Mustangs recorded double-digit scoring as Nagel finished with 18, Saathoff had 10 and Rolling led with a career-high 19.
An efficient offense kept SMSU in the game in the first half as the Mustangs shot 12 of 24 from the floor including 4 of 11 from behind the arc. The Mustang defense would limit the Dragon offense to just 36.4 percent shooting but the Dragons snared 27 rebounds including 13 offensive rebounds in the first half. SMSU managed just one offensive board and 13 total rebounds in the first half. SMSU went into the break within arm's length of the Dragons as the Mustangs trailed by just five, 38-33.
The offense stalled in the second half as the Mustangs shot 35.3 percent (12 of 34) from the floor and coughed up seven turnovers. Alison Nagel swished a 3-pointer with 10:26 remaining in the game to cut the Dragon lead to seven but the Mustangs would not score until the 5:31 mark. Over the nearly five minute scoreless drought, the Dragons built their lead to 14 points - a lead that would be too large for SMSU to overcome as the Mustangs would eventually fall 72-62.
SMSU finished the game shooting at a 41.9 percent (26-52) clip from the floor including 5 of 19 from 3-point range.
MSUM was led by Morgan Zabel and Haley Thomforde as they each poured in 15 points while Megan Strese finished with a game-high 13 rebounds.
SMSU will return to the R/A Facility to host Upper Iowa on Friday, Jan. 25 at 6 p.m. and Winona State on Saturday, Jan. 25 at 5 p.m.
Courtesy: Adam Henning, Assistant Athletic Communications Director, Southwest Minnesota State University