Womens basketball: Lady Jays double Devils
WORTHINGTON —The Minnesota West Community and Technical College Lady Jays have long been known for their offensive prowess but, as the last few games have indicated, they’re not playing too badly on the defensive end either.
Masking early shooting woes against Riverland Community College on Wednesday night in Worthington with staunch defense, West eventually came around in both phases of the game to double up on the Blue Devils, 88-44, handing them their sixth loss in the last seven outings.
“This is how it’s supposed to be,” Lady Jays head coach Mike Fury said following the triumph. “We talked last night about defending our home court and not wanting to do anything that is not in the book.”
Holding the Devils to just four points on one field goal through the game’s opening minutes through their strong defensive effort, the Lady Jays turned a 11-4 lead into a big 43-20 advantage at halftime.
West ran the floor well, shared the ball well, and swelled their lead with ease against their opponents who had only two players to choose from on the bench.
“We got off to a little bit of a sluggish start, but we got some momentum going and didn’t stop the rest of the night,” Fury said.
Following halftime, the Jays rolled to leads of 30 points and then almost 50 at one point, when the Jays held an 81-34 advantage.
Tiffany Gehl, the Minnesota College Athletic Conference’s Southern Division Player of the Week, scored 19 points in the game, supported also by a game-high 23 from Kristen Andersen and 13 by Lydia Kemper. Andersen finished 7-of-9 from the field and hit both of her attempts from downtown in the game.
Finishing with a balanced night for almost of a microcosm of her team’s accomplishments on the evening, sophomore Lindsey Drooger scored nine points, going 7-for-8 from the free throw line. She also had seven boards in the game, handed out seven assists and had two steals.
“I thought it was a great win for us. We’ve been preparing all week for Riverland,” Drooger commented. “We knew they’d be in a zone, so we knew we needed to penetrate, kick and drive, getting it into our posts. I thought we played really well tonight.”
The Lady Jays outrebounded Riverland 42-26 in the game and spread the ball around offensively with 17 assists and Bridget Kemper had five of those. Andersen also had seven rebounds. Lydia Kemper reined in eight boards.
Miriah Carruth led the Blue Devils with 20 points and Brittani Zuniga added 10.
“We got some transition buckets that were huge, and even when we had to set up in the half-court offense, we were able to get some good looks outside,” Fury said. “We were able to get to the free throw line a lot too and that was key.”
The Lady Jays will travel to Minnesota State Community and Technical College for a Saturday afternoon contest in Fergus Falls at 1 p.m. The Spartans come into the game at 5-12 following a 72-65 loss Wednesday evening at home to Ridgewater.
West improved to 15-4 overall with the win and is 6-1 in conference play.
“We did what we were supposed to do, and that’s what we’re supposed to do,” Fury said of the win. “You have to play the same way every night. Whether it’s the No. 1 team or the No. 5 team, it doesn’t matter.
“We’ll take from this a good effort,” he added. “We played hard and hopefully we keep playing this way every night.”
Riverland 20 44
Lady Jays 43 88
RIVERLAND (3FG-2FG-FT-TP) — Carruth 1-5-7-20, B. Zuniga 0-4-2-10, Groepper 1-2-2-9, Larson 1-0-0-3, M. Zuniga 0-0-1-1, Sanderson 0-0-1-1. Totals 3-11-13-44.
LADY JAYS (3FG-2FG-FT-TP) — Andersen 2-6-7-23, Gehl 1-3-10-19, L. Kemper 1-5-0-13, Drooger 0-1-7-9, Tish 0-4-0-8, Hermeling 1-2-0-7, Kramer 0-3-0-6, Dohlman 1-0-0-3. Totals 6-23-24-88.