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Eric Peterson, Published January 10 2014

Thomforde helps spark Dragons to win against Concordia-St. Paul

MOORHEAD – Haley Thomforde was perfect from the field in the first half Friday night at Alex Nemzek Fieldhouse, draining all five shots she took from the floor, including three 3-pointers.

That torrid shooting led to a 16-point half that helped spark Minnesota State Moorhead to an 81-68 victory against Concordia-St. Paul in Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference women’s basketball.

Thomforde finished with a career-high 26 points and also grabbed eight rebounds.

“I feel like we just came out with good energy,” said Thomforde, a 5-foot-8 guard who shot 78 percent (7 of 9) from the floor.

The Dragons (9-4, 5-4 NSIC) have won five of their past six games and have a 3-0 record in January.

“I thought at the start of the game we had very good focus,” Dragons head coach Karla Nelson said.

MSUM scored the game’s first 14 points en route to a 41-29 halftime lead. Six-foot post Megan Strese sank two free throws to give the Dragons a 30-8 lead with 9 minutes, 36 seconds to play in the first half. That was MSUM’s largest lead.

The Golden Bears started to climb back into the game, scoring the first eight points after halftime. Concordia-St. Paul took a 53-52 lead after senior guard Carissa Wolyniec made two foul shots with 8:48 to play in the second half. That was the Golden Bears’ lone lead and lasted less than 10 seconds.

The Dragons countered with an 11-2 run to forge into the lead for good. Sophomore guard Meghan Roehrich helped fuel that rally with five points during that stretch. Roehrich’s driving basket gave the Dragons a 63-55 lead with 5:08 remaining.

“We just were calm,” said Thomforde, who also had three assists.

The Dragons were paced by their three seniors. Thomforde, Strese and Morgan Zabel combined for 52 points, including 23-for-26 shooting from the foul line. Strese also grabbed a game-high 18 rebounds. She finished the game one point short of 1,000 career points.

“When those three play well, I feel like we can compete with anyone in our conference,” Nelson said.

CONCORDIA-SP (11-5, 6-3 NSIC): Kearney 8-18 2-2 24, Hansen 0-6 2-4 2, Wolyniec 4-9 4-4 15, Bender 1-11 0-0 2, Whiting 7-11 5-5 19, Harris 0-2 0-0 0, Batzel 1-5 0-0 2, Knight 0 0-1 0, Dudley 0-1 0-0 0, Nicks 1-3 1-2 4. Totals 22-66 14-18 68.

MSUM (9-4, 5-4): Banasik 2-8 4-4 9, Thomforde 7-9 9-12 26, Zabel 3-11 4-4 10, Handevidt 1-4 4-4 7, M. Strese 3-12 10-10 16, Noreen 0-0 0-0 0, Van Wyhe 1-4 0-0 2, Roehrich 4-6 1-4 9, Miller 0-0 0-0 0, H. Strese 1-2 0-0 2. Totals 22-56 32-38 81.

Half: MSUM 41, CSP 29. 3-point goals: CSP 10-26 (Kearney 6-9, Hansen 0-2, Wolyniec 3-8, Bender 0-3, Whiting 0-1, Batzel 0-1, Nicks 1-1), MSUM 5-7 (Banasik 1-1, Thomforde 3-3, Zabel 0-1, Handevidt 1-1, H. Strese 0-1). Total fouls: CSP 29, MSUM 18. Fouled out: Wolyniec, Whiting, Harris. Technical foul: CSP bench, Harris. Rebounds: CSP 36 (Nicks 7), MSUM 48 (M. Strese 18). Assists: CSP 14 (Bender 8), MSUM 10 (Banasik 3, Thomforde 3). Steals: CSP 6 (Hansen 2, Wolyniec 2), MSUM 4 (four players with 1). Turnovers: CSP 12 (Wolyniec 3), MSUM 15 (M. Strese 5). A-605.


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