SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (SMSU) – The Southwest Minnesota State women’s basketball team (19-10) outscored the St. Cloud State Huskies (17-10) 48-35 in the second half, leading to an emotional 76-68 victory on Sunday afternoon inside the Sanford Pentagon.
The Mustangs advance to the NSIC Tournament semifinals for just the fourth time in program history and first time since 2002. They will take on to the top-ranked team in the south, Minnesota State, on Monday at 1:30 p.m. Their win total now sits at 19, tied for the most wins since the 2002-03 season.
It is SMSU’s first victory over the Huskies since 2010, and first time defeating SCSU in the NSIC tournament.
The Mustangs shot 48.3 percent (28 of 58) from the field while tying a season-low with four three-pointers on 12 attempts and shooting 16 of 22 from the free throw line. The Huskies finished shooting 41.5 percent (22 of 53) from the field, 3 of 10 from three, and 21 of 24 from the free throw line.
SMSU dominated the paint in the win, continuously driving to the basket and finishing layups. They outscored SCSU 46-32 inside and out-rebounded the Huskies 34-30.
Sam Wall scored 19 points to lead the Mustangs in scoring, and made a pair of three pointers, bringing her to 72 makes on the season, one away of tying the program record for single season three pointers.
Bri Stoltzman, who played nearly the entire game in foul trouble, finished with 16 points on 6 of 8 shooting, adding six rebounds, two assists, and two steals. Jenna Borchers scored 13 points, while Hannah Parsley tallied 13 points and seven rebounds. Madison Gehloff rounded out the starting lineup with 11 points and five rebounds of her own.
After each team scored on its opening possession, neither team was able to find a rhythm offensively, combining to shoot 3 of 19 from the field over the next 8:20 of game time.
The biggest play of the quarter came with 2:57 remaining, when Stoltzman received her third foul, placing her on the bench until the 5:29 mark of the second quarter.
The Huskies scored on each of their final two possessions of the half to take a 14-10 lead, but a Borchers three just before the quarter expired brought the Mustangs within one at 14-13 into the second quarter.
Parsley opened the second quarter scoring with a layup to give SMSU a 15-14 lead, but it would be the last lead seen by the Mustangs in the first half.
A 13-0 Huskie run gave them their biggest lead of the game at 27-15 with 4:07 left in the half.
SMSU got right back into it, making 6 of their final 7 shots, with Borchers scoring eight of 13 points, to bring the Mustangs within five at 33-28 into the locker room.
An even start to the third period saw the Huskies still lead by five at 43-38 midway through the third.
After a Parsley layup brought SMSU within three, Wall drilled a threewith 4:21 left in the third quarter that erupted the crowd and evened the score at 43-43.
Following a timeout, SCSU answered with eight of the next 11 points to take a 51-46 lead with 1:33 left in the quarter.
The lead would grow to six, but Stoltzman delivered a strong and-one with three seconds to go, bringing SMSU within three at 55-52 into the fourth quarter.
With the Huskies leading 62-59, the Mustangs began to pounce. A pair of Wall free throws and a Stoltzman and-one gave SMSU a 64-62 lead with 6:31 remaining.
After a SCSU layup tied the score at 64-64, Parsley, Gehloff, Wall, Stoltzman, and Borchers took turns delivering blows during a 10-0 run that put the Mustangs ahead 74-64 with 2:43 to play.
A Wall layup was sandwiched by sets of SCSU free throws to bring the game to its final score.