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Tom Mix, Published January 04 2013

Yernatich scores 21 points to power Dragons past UMC in women's basketball

MOORHEAD – Not much went in favor of the Minnesota State Moorhead women’s basketball team early in the second half on Friday.

But when the final buzzer sounded, the Dragons had posted a 71-65 Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference win over Minnesota-Crookston at Alex Nemzek Fieldhouse.

MSUM (6-4, 3-3 NSIC) trailed the Golden Eagles 51-39 with 12 minutes, 2 seconds remaining after Minnesota-Crookston had rattled off a 14-0 run.

The Dragons answered with a 12-0 run and took a 61-60 lead when junior forward Morgan Zabel got a layup to fall with 3:02 left to play. MSUM did not trail after that.

“We showed a lot of character coming back and being able to take the lead,” MSUM head coach Karla Nelson said. “We made some free throws and did what we had to do to win.”

Senior guard Marisa Yernatich and junior forward Megan Strese powered MSUM’s victory.

Yernatich tied a school record hitting seven

3-pointers and finished with 21 points.

“I felt like the whole team was on the same page offensively,” Yernatich said. “People were setting good screens to give me good looks and I hit them.”

Four of Yernatich’s seven 3-pointers came in the second half. One capped the 12-0 run and her final basket from beyond the arc tied the game at 56-all.

“I thought she looked relaxed and was able to take shots in rhythm, which was huge,” Nelson said. “I thought she did a good job on defense too. … Overall, she played a pretty good basketball game.”

While Yernatich was patrolling the perimeter, Strese converted in the paint. Strese finished with a game-high 23 points and seven rebounds.

Brittani Wiese scored 17 points to pace the Golden Eagles (4-6, 1-5).

Crookston put together a 14-2 run in the middle of the first half and led 27-19 with 5:40 left before halftime.

MSUM stormed back posting a 9-0 run to close out the first half. Yernatich capped the run with a 3-pointer – her third of the opening half – with a minute left giving the Dragons a 28-27 at the break.

“We didn’t want to give up,” Yernatich said. “We kept battling and battling. I’m really proud of the team for getting it done.”

CROOKSTON (4-6, 1-5): Wiese 5-12 5-6 17, Thielman 2-7 0-0 6, Tyson 1-5 2-2 4, Livingston 3-6 2-2 8, Martell 3-8 2-2 11, Christenson 1-4 0-0 3, Walker 0-0 2-2 2, Moenkedick 1-8 4-4 6, Thorn 3-6 0-0 8. Totals: 19-60 17-18 65.

MSUM (6-4, 3-3): Thomforde 2-10 4-4 8, Charette 2-9 0-0 4, Yernatich 7-17 0-0 21, Miller 0-5 2-2 2, M. Strese 8-16 7-8 23, Zabel 2-3 5-7 9, H. Strese 1-1 2-3 4. Totals: 22-62 20-24 71.

Half: MSUM 28, UMC 27. 3-point goals: UMC 10-28 (Wiese 2-4, Thielman 2-3, Livingston 0-2, Martell 3-8, Christenson 1-3, Moenkedick 0-2, Thorn 2-5, McRoberts 0-1), MSUM 7-17 (Thomforde 0-1, Charette 0-4, Yernatich 7-11, Noreen 0-1). Total fouls: UMC 20, MSUM 14. Rebounds: UMC 44 (Tyson 10), MSUM 41 (Thomforde 10). Assists: UMC 10 (Wiese, Christenson 3), MSUM 14 (Thomforde 4). Steals: UMC 6 (Moenkedick, Wiese 2), MSUM 11 (Yernatich 3). Turnovers: UMC 19, MSUM 15.


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Tom Mix at (701) 241-5562