MANKATO, MINN. – The University of Sioux Falls Women’s Basketball Team (8-4, 4-2 NSIC) had a six-game winning streak end on a tough shooting night as the Cougars dropped a 73-64 decision at No. 24 Minnesota State (10-0, 6-0 NSIC) in Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference South Division play at the Taylor Center of the Bresnan Arena.
The Cougars led early before MSU was able to gain control and build as much as a 15-point lead later in the game. USF rallied late and pulled within three with 2:54 to play but couldn’t quite get over the top in falling to the first-place Mavericks.
MSU took an eight-point lead after the first quarter, 25-17. At the half, MSU still led by eight at 37-29 before extending it to 59-47 through three quarters. USF cut the lead to three points late in the fourth quarter (67-64, 2:37 to play) but MSU had a 6-0 closing run to pick up their sixth straight NSIC win.
With their victory, the Mavericks retained control of the South Division at 6-0. USF fell to 4-2 in league play and tied for third with Concordia St. Paul and SMSU for second place. USF will play at Concordia St. Paul at 7:30 pm on Saturday at the Gangelhoff Center in St. Paul, Minn.
While USF did not place any player in double-digits, the Cougars showcased a balanced attack with 10 players scoring between two and nine points. Kiara James, Megan Fannin and Sydney White all led USF with nine points. Dallie Hoskinson had seven points, a game-high 11 rebounds, four assists and a steal. Hoskinson had her fourth game of double-digit rebounds, including her second straight, this season. Danielle Schaub also had eight points as did Krystal Carlson, who had four rebounds and two steals.
In its attempt to knock off a nationally-ranked foe, USF was hurt by its 33.3 percent shooting mark as they made just 21-of-63 field goals and 5-of-22 for 22.7 percent from three-point range. USF, which made 17-of-20 foul shots for 85 percent, was outrebounded, 46-42. The Cougars were also hurt by fouls with 21, including the loss of two starters. And, USF also had 24 turnovers, created in part through 17 steals by MSU, which led to a 24-to-13 margin for the Mavericks in points from turnovers. The Cougars were also impacted by a 40-to-26 margin for MSU with points in the paint and a 24-10 deficit on fast break points. USF had a 32-to-21 advantage in bench points in part due to James and White providing important offense.
MSU, which hit 27-of-70 field goals for 38.6 percent, was also hurt by USF’s defense with 19 turnovers and also committed a high rate of fouls with 26 as they also lost two players to fouls. The Mavericks had five players in double-digits with 16 points from Joey Batt and 12 points and nine rebounds by Rylee Menster.
Early on, Carlson and Gamoke both had baskets as USF trailed MSU, 5-4 with eight minutes to play. With a triple by Fannin, the Cougars took a 7-5 lead at the 7:34 mark of the first quarter. After USF led, 9-5, MSU had five straight points for a 10-9 lead with 6:07 to play in the quarter.
After White made a jumper in the lane, MSU had baskets from Bursch and Batt for an 18-15 lead. MSU pushed the lead to 10 points before Carlson’s late basket cut the deficit to 25-17 at the break. In the first quarter, USF was 7-of-20 for 35 percent and 1-of-6 from three-point range while MSU was 9-of-18 for 50 percent and 4-of-8 from three.
When MSU opened the second quarter on a 5-0 run, the Mavericks had extended their lead to 29-17 lead with 8:01 to play. After a Schaub triple, USF pulled within, 31-25. Then, the graduate transfer had a “and 1” after a driving lay-up as the Cougars cut the deficit to 33-29 with 3:12 to play. Despite a couple of opportunities to cut the lead further, MSU was able to take a 37-29 lead to the break. USF hit just 4-of-16 shots in the second quarter and 2-of-7 from three while MSU was 5-of-19 for 26.3 percent and 0-7 from three as the defenses prevailed.
Through the opening half, USF hit just 11-of-36 field goals for 30.6 percent and was just 3-of-13 from three for 28.6 percent. USF was outrebounded 26-22 and had 11 turnovers. MSU had nine turnovers and hit 37.8 percent on 14-of-37 shooting with 4-of-14 from three-point range.
In the third quarter, MSU extended the lead to as much as 15 before the Cougars drew back to within 12 at the break at 59-47 with James scoring five points in the quarter. USF hit just 5-of-13 field goals for 38.5 percent and 1-of-5 from three but made 7-of-8 foul shots. MSU was 8-of-18 in the quarter for 44.4 percent and made 6-of-10 foul shots.
In the fourth quarter, USF was able to get a floating jumper from Brecli Honner and a lay-up from White with her “and 1” pulling USF within 61-52 with 8:06 to play. After Batt converted a jumper for MSU, Fannin knocked in her third three-pointer of the game to cut the deficit to 63-55. Later, White and Hoskinson converted foul shots as the Cougars drew the lead down to 67-62. Moments later, Carlson’s basket helped USF pull to within 67-64 with 2:54 to play.
But, USF, which outscored MSU, 17-14 in the quarter, and made 5-of-14 field goals for 35.7 percent, was unable to get any closer. MSU’s Taylor Thuetsch, who had 11 points, made two foul shots and her three with 58 seconds left iced it for MSU.