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Eric Peterson, Published December 15 2012

St. Cloud State knocks off Dragons in women's basketball

MOORHEAD – Morgan Lof made her last game in Alex Nemzek Fieldhouse a memorable one.

The St. Cloud State senior scored 13 points, not missing a shot from the field, to help spark the Huskies to a 79-56 victory against Minnesota State Moorhead on Saturday in Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference women’s basketball.

“I saw some of my friends in the crowd and family,” said Lof, who went to high school in nearby Detroit Lakes, Minn. “It was nice that they were able to come. This is my last game here, so it’s nice that they were able to be here.”

The Huskies (8-1, 4-1 NSIC) were coming off their first loss of the season, a 62-51 setback at Northern State on Friday.

“Coming back, it just showed our character to get going again,” said Lof, a 6-foot forward who also grabbed six rebounds and dished out four assists.

Lof scored nine of her points in the first half, making 3 of 3 shots from the field and 3 of 4 shots from the foul line. The Huskies erupted for 43 points in the opening 20 minutes en route to a 21-point halftime lead.

“I think it was no energy on our part, and they came out with energy,” said MSUM head coach Karla Nelson. “So when you have no energy and they have energy, it looks really bad.”

St. Cloud State shot 52 percent (17 of 33) from the field in the first half.

The Huskies built an early double-digit lead after scoring 13 consecutive points. Sophomore forward Jessica Benson started the surge with a 3-pointer. Sophomore guard Carley Jeffery capped the run with a 3-point shot from the right wing that staked St. Cloud State to a 17-5 lead with 13 minutes, 55 seconds to play in the first half.

The Huskies added a string of 11 straight points later in the opening half. Junior guard Rachael Moen capped that spree with a 3-pointer from the left wing. That gave St. Cloud State a 42-17 lead with 3:05 to play until halftime.

“I just think defensively we were horrible, but you have to give them credit,” Nelson said. “Even if we weren’t there, they still had to hit shots.”

The Dragons tried to climb back into the game with a strong start to the second half. They used a 15-3 run to cut the St. Cloud State to 10 points. MSUM drained four 3-pointers during that stretch. Dragons junior Haley Thomforde capped the scoring spree with a short jumper that trimmed the St. Cloud State lead to 49-39 with 12:23 remaining.

MSUM, however, never cut the St. Cloud State lead into single digits in the second half.

“We made a really good effort,” Nelson said of her team’s start to the second half. “I thought we came out with some energy and got some good looks. When you get down like that … it’s tough.”

SCSU (8-1, 4-1 NSIC): Lof 5-5 3-4 13, Price 4-10 1-1 11, Anderson 1-6 0-1 2, Wagner 4-7 0-1 10, Benson 7-14 1-2 17, Eschrich 1-3 0-0 2, Jeffery 1-3 0-0 2, Petermann 4-6 1-2 10, Robinson 0-1 0-0 0, Moen 1-3 0-0 3, Van Klei 0-1 0-0 0, Konopasek 1-1 0-0 2, Rollo 1-1 0-0 2, LeCaptain 2-2 0-0 4. Totals 32-63 6-11 79.

MSUM (5-4, 2-3): Thomforde 4-10 0-2 10, Charette 3-9 0-0 8, Yernatich 6-13 0-0 15, Zabel 3-9 2-3 9, M. Strese 1-3 4-6 6, Roehrich 0-0 0-0 0, Noreen 1-2 2-3 4, Boegeman 0-0 2-2 2, Miller 0-1 2-2 2, Hebert 0-0 0-0 0, Handevidt 0-0 0-0 0, H. Strese 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 18-48 12-18 56.

Half: SCSU 43, MSUM 22. 3-point goals: SCSU 9-23 (Price 2-6, Anderson 0-3, Wagner 2-3, Benson 2-4, Eschrich 0-2, Jeffery 1-1, Petermann 1-2, Moen 1-2), MSUM 8-23 (Thomforde 2-3, Charette 2-7, Yernatich 3-10, Zabel 1-2, Noreen 0-1). Total fouls: SCSU 18, MSUM 14. Rebounds: SCSU 28 (Lof 6), MSUM 10 (Strese 17). Assists: SCSU 19 (Anderson 6), MSUM 14 (Yernatich 5). Steals: SCSU 9 (three players with 2), MSUM 3 (three players with 1). Turnovers: SCSU 8 (Moen 2), MSUM 21 (Charette 6).


Readers can reach Forum reporter Eric Peterson at (701) 241-5513.

Peterson’s blog can be found at peterson.areavoices.com