« Continue Browsing

e-mail article Print     e-mail article E-mail

Eric Peterson, Published February 08 2014

Dragons edge Minnesota-Duluth in the final seconds

MOORHEAD – Megan Strese didn’t stress going to the foul line in the closing seconds Saturday at Alex Nemzek Fieldhouse.

The Minnesota State Moorhead senior drained two free throws with 10 seconds remaining. Those points lifted the Dragons to an 80-78 victory against Minnesota-Duluth in Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference women’s basketball.

“You’ve just got to step up and knock them down,” said Strese, who finished 6 of 6 from the foul line.

The Dragons (14-8, 10-8 NSIC) have won four consecutive games, and five of their past six games.

“We should feel pretty good, but every game is just going to grow with importance,” Dragons head coach Karla Nelson said.

The Dragons led by as many as seven points in the final four minutes, but were unable to hold off a late Minnesota-Duluth rally. Bulldogs junior guard Danielle Flood sank two foul shots to tie the score at 78-78 with 37 seconds remaining.

That set the scene for Strese, who got fouled going up for a shot underneath the basket with 10 seconds to play. The 6-foot forward calmly sank both shots, which proved to be the difference.

“Nothing was easy,” Nelson said. “I don’t know how we did it. We found a way.”

The Dragons excelled at the foul line and beyond the 3-point arc against the Bulldogs. MSUM shot 88 percent (15 of 17) from the foul line and 50 percent (9 of 18) from the 3-point range.

Strese finished with 20 points and added a game-high nine rebounds. Dragons senior Morgan Zabel scored 24 points, including 4-for-5 shooting from 3-point range. Zabel also made 6 of 6 free throws. The 5-10 forward made critical back-to-back 3-pointers with less than seven minutes to play. The second long-range shot gave the Dragons a 72-67 lead with 5:33 remaining.

“We just remained calm and tried to play as relaxed as we could,” Zabel said. “We came out with a lot of energy and had intensity throughout the whole game.”

Bulldogs forward Katrina Newman finished with a game-high 26 points on 10-for-22 shooting from the field. Minnesota-Duluth finished with 17 offensive rebounds, which led to 17 second-chance points.

“The rebounding aspect is something that Duluth is very good at, and we certainly didn’t deter them from executing that part of their game,” Nelson said. “You’ve really got to give Duluth a lot of credit. I thought they did a lot of good things offensively and put us in some tough situations.”

UMD (10-12, 7-11 NSIC): Flood 2-8 2-3 6, Kerkhoff 1-2 0-0 2, J. Newman 2-7 0-1 4, K. Newman 10-22 2-2 26, Meyer 4-9 2-2 10, Harris 0-1 0-0 0, Kane 3-4 4-4 10, Dillinger 5-6 2-4 12, Rutten 3-9 2-4 8. Totals 30-68 14-20 78.

MSUM (14-8, 10-8): Banasik 4-6 0-0 9, Thomforde 2-5 2-3 7, Zabel 7-12 6-6 24, Handevidt 3-6 0-0 6, M. Strese 7-13 6-6 20, Van Wyhe 0-4 1-2 1, Roehrich 4-11 0-0 11, Miller 0-1 0-0 0, H. Strese 1-3 0-0 2. Totals 28-61 15-17 80.

Half: MSUM 42, UMD 38. 3-point goals: UMD 4-10 (Flood 0-2, J. Newman 0-3, K. Newman 4-5), MSUM 9-18 (Banasik 1-2, Thomforde 1-3, Zabel 4-5, M. Strese 0-1, Van Wyhe 0-2, Roehrich 3-4, H. Strese 0-1). Total fouls: UMD 16, MSUM 20. Fouled out: Rutten. Rebounds: UMD 39 (Rutten 8), MSUM 37 (M. Strese 9). Assists: UMD 10 (J. Newman 3), MSUM 21 (Thomforde 7). Steals: UMD 9 (Flood 3), MSUM 2 (Banasik, Thomforde). Turnovers: UMD 11 (Flood 3), MSUM 16 (Zabel 4). A-597.