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Forum staff reports, Published December 06 2013

Marauders snag win from MSUM

BISMARCK – University of Mary women’s basketball coach Rick Neumann and his players breathed a sigh of relief as they walked off the court at the McDowell Activity Center on Friday night.

The Marauders escaped with a nerve-wracking 77-75 victory over Minnesota State Moorhead on Friday in Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference action.

Mary (3-2) improved to 1-1 in the conference after losing to Minot State last week. MSUM (4-2) fell to 0-2 in the NSIC.

In the men’s game, Moorhead cruised to an 83-73 victory.

“Going 1-1 and moving forward is just a great feeling,” Mary senior McKenzie Foster said. “We can only improve.”

MSUM had a chance to send the contest into an extra session. Guard Morgan Banasik went to the free-throw line with 2.9 seconds remaining with the Dragons trailing 77-75. Banasik missed the first free throw and deliberately missed the second one. Teammate Megan Strese corralled the rebound, but her putback was too strong.

Mary escaped with the victory.

“Megan Strese got the rebound and a good look,” MSUM coach Karla Nelson said. “It just didn’t go in, but we’ve played a couple of exciting games here now back-to-back. We look forward to playing these guys in Moorhead now.”

Four players scored in double digits for Mary. Linda Murray led with 20 points while Foster added 15. Brittney Dietz and Lindsey Sand added 13 apiece. Thirteen of Foster’s totals came in the second half.

Mary started the contest strong, racing out to a 14-2 lead, but inconsistent play marred by turnovers and fouls allowed the Dragons to creep back in.

MSUM took its first lead with 11:03 remaining in the second half on a pair of free throws from Strese. Morgan Zabel followed it up with a three-point play with 10:15 to go to cap a 19-3 run and give the Dragons a 58-54 lead.

“I think most teams will have that kind of up and down for awhile as everyone gets used to how the game is called,” Mary coach Rick Neumann said. “Just like most of our teams at Mary, we’re spurted. We have a lot of spurt ability, but we can go into some droughts. This was one of those games where there wasn’t a lot of flow to it.”

Foster came up big for Mary. With the Marauders trailing 66-63 with 6:15 to play, the guard from Big Timber, Mont., connected on a 3-pointer from the left wing with 5:59 to go. She got a steal in the backcourt and took it in for a layup on the ensuing play. Foster’s spurt allowed Mary to finish the contest with a 14-9 run.

“Whoever is open, we take that shot and hopefully it goes in,” Foster said. “I was really focused. You just have to help each other out. Offensively, we’re just looking for a shot, and hopefully it goes in.”

Megan Roehrich came off the bench to lead the Dragons with 21 points.

Heather Strese added 13 while Megan Strese had 10.

Mary was called for 29 fouls with three players fouling out. The Marauders shot 19 of 25 from the foul line. Moorhead was called for 21 infractions and shot 26 of 38 from the free-throw line.

MSUM (4-2) (0-2 NSIC): Roehrich 5-10 7-8 21, H. Strese 3-5 1-3 13, M. Strese 4-12 0-0 10, Zabel 2-8 6-7 8, Thomford 2-8 2-4 6, Miller 1-2 3-4 5, Banasik 2-4 1-4 5, Van Wyhe 1-1 1-2 4, Noreen 1-1 0-0 3, Handevidt 0-1 0-0 0.

UM (3-2) (1-1 NSIC): Murray 8-12 4-6 20, Foster 5-6 2-2 15, Sand 5-9 0-0 13, Dietz 4-9 2-3 13, Turner 1-4 4-4 6, Harper 0-3 3-4 3, Larson 1-5 0-0 3, Henningsgard 0-2 2-4 2, Saunders 0-4 2-2 2.

Half: UM 37, MSUM 35. 3-point goals: MSUM 7-19 (Roehrich 4-6, Van Wyhe 1-1, Noreen 1-1, H. Strese 1-3, Thomford 0-4, Banasik 0-2, Zabel 0-2), UM 10-19 (Dietz 3-4, Sand 3-5, Foster 3-3, Larson 1-4, Saunders 0-2, Henningsgard 0-1). Total fouls: MSUM 21, UM 29. Rebounds: MSUM 36 (Roehrich, M. Strese 7), UM 35 (Larson, Murray 9). Assists: MSUM 8 (Roehrich, Thomford, Zabel 2), UM 15 (Sand 5). Steals: MSUM 3 (M. Strese 2), UM 7 (Foster 2). Turnovers: MSUM 19, UM 20. A: 922.