MW WOMEN'S BASKETBALL: Big second half lifts Lady Jays to 74-52 win over WarriorsWORTHINGTON — It was a tale of two halves for Minnesota West’s women’s basketball team Saturday, as the Lady Jays used a big second half to knock off Ridgewater 74-52 in the Southern Division matchup.
WORTHINGTON — It was a tale of two halves for Minnesota West’s women’s basketball team Saturday, as the Lady Jays used a big second half to knock off Ridgewater 74-52 in the Southern Division matchup.
Ridgewater was 6-for-13 shooting from beyond the 3-point arc in the first half to keep the game close. The Lady Jays (16-7, 5-3) took a 34-32 into the break, but opened up the second half with a 7-0 run and used a 18-5 run later in the half to run away with the game.
“We just played harder in the second half,” MW coach Mike Fury said. “We played with more intensity and, thank goodness, it was a completely different half.
“We said at halftime we had to play harder on defense and that’s what we did. We got up on them and played them tough and that momentum changed over to our offense. The difference was the intensity. It was key and we had to do that.”
Alyson Drooger led the way with 22 points, three rebounds and two block shots, while Katey Granstra added 21 points, 10 rebounds and three assists, Kayla Schroeder had 12 points and Ilissa Koehl had nine points and five rebounds off the bench for the Lady Jays.
The game was back and forth with six lead changes and two ties in the first half and the largest lead going to MW’s six-point separation at 28-22, after a 3-point play from Brittany Hulstein behind a beautiful pass from Alyson Drooger. Ridgewater answered with an 8-3 run to cut the MW lead to one before Drooger hit a 3-pointer to end the MW skid.
Leading the team at the bottom of the Southern Division by just one field goal, Fury let the Lady Jays hear about it at the halftime break.
“In the locker room coach let us know that we didn’t play hard, we didn’t push the ball and that we couldn’t let a team with a worse record than us control what we do,” Drooger said. “We didn’t come out as intense as we should have in the first half.
“The second half, we came out, got it going right away and never looked back. We came out and pushed the ball more.”
The Lady Jays opened up the second half with a 7-0 run, five of those points coming from Granstra, who scored 15 of her 21 points in the second half.
“We hustled a lot more in the second half,” Granstra said. “I got a little bit more confidence and took some shots I normally wouldn’t and it helped.
“I’ve never really took (the mid-range jumper) before, but it worked for me today. We’re hoping how we played in the second half is how we play in both halves against Anoka.”
Fury felt the defensive intensity is what opened up everything in the second half, even Granstra’s presence down low.
“We were looking for her in both halves,” Fury said. “She’s open inside and today she just took advantage of it more and scored a little more. She got things going.
“It all stemmed from the defense and the hustling in the second half. What a difference it makes when you guard somebody.”
A 3-pointer cut the MW lead to 43-40, but the Lady Jays answered with an 18-5 run to shut the door.
“We learned how hard we have to play and if you just go through the motions, you’re going to get yourself in trouble,” Fury said. “You have to play hard.
“That intensity has to carry into Wednesday. That is for sure.”
From the bottom of the division Saturday to the top of the division Wednesday, the Lady Jays will take on Anoka-Ramsey (20-2, 8-0) on the road Wednesday.
Ridgewater 32 20 — 52
Minnesota West 34 40 — 74
Ridgewater (3FG-2FG-FT-TP) Winter 5-0-0-15, McNeley 0-0-3-3, Kelly 0-6-5-17, Koenen 3-3-0-15, Cunningham 0-0-1-1, Uecker 0-0-1-1. Total 8-9-10-52.
Minnesota West (3FG-2FG-FT-TP) Koehl 0-3-3-9, Kazemba 0-0-1-1, Drooger 3-6-1-22, Hadler 0-2-0-4, Hulstein 0-2-1-5, Schroeder 2-3-0-12, Granstra 0-10-1-21. Total 5-26-7-74.
Daily Globe Sports Editor Chris Murphy can be reached at 376-7328.