WOMEN'S BASKETBALL: Lady Jays defeat RaidersWORTHINGTON — The Minnesota West women’s basketball team scored 30 of the last 39 points in a 75-59 non-conference win over Central Lakes on Sunday. The Lady Jays (7-4 overall), who trailed 50-45 with 11:02 left, went on a 16-0 run to take a 61-50 lead 5½ minutes later.
WORTHINGTON — The Minnesota West women’s basketball team scored 30 of the last 39 points in a 75-59 non-conference win over Central Lakes on Sunday.
The Lady Jays (7-4 overall), who trailed 50-45 with 11:02 left, went on a 16-0 run to take a 61-50 lead 5½ minutes later.
“It was a real good effort at the end of the game. I guess we were a little sluggish before that,” Minnesota West head coach Mike Fury said. “Lack of defense hurt us throughout the game, we gave up some offensive boards and we were not shooting well. But we hit some 3’s and played some defense and got some rebounds at the end. What a difference that makes.”
Brittany Hulstein sparked the Lady Jays’ scoring spree by driving for a basket and converting an old-fashioned 3-point play after scoring on a putback.
The run continued with a basket from Lindsay Drooger and a top-of-the-key 3-pointer from Mara Eichenberger. Tiffany Gehl’s steal led to a transition layup before Drooger drained a 3-pointer of her own to cap the eruption.
“I like to drive the ball to the basket because that is the best thing I do,” said Gehl, who also got behind the Raiders’ defense on a few backdoor layups and led all scorers with 26 points. “It’s my teammates who see me cutting to the basket and they get the ball to me.”
Hulstein and Drooger each finished with 17 points for Minnesota West.
Central Lakes, which did not make a field goal for almost 6 minutes of the second half, trailed 61-52 after a putback from Sierra Benning answered the Minnesota West explosion with 5:06 left.
The Lady Jays’ lead grew to 13 points (70-57) on a layup from Drooger and a nifty spin-move by Eichenberger before hitting a transition layup with 2:28 remaining.
“It was huge for Tiffany to get open and hit a few backdoor layups for us. That is what got us going,” Fury said. “You hit a few shots and it makes a big difference because (Central Lakes) had to come out and guard us.”
Gehl produced 13 of the Lady Jays’ first 19 markers in the first 9½ minutes of the game, when Minnesota West forced a tie after trailing 19-17 with 11½ minutes left before halftime.
Although, the Lady Jays were ahead much of the first 20 minutes, the Raiders stayed close, trailing 37-33 at intermission.
Central Lakes’ forward Jalynn Lamb scored the Raiders’ first four points of the second half before a jumper from Lindsay Monson tied the game at 39.
Central Lakes took control with a 12-4 run and a 54-45 lead that was inspired by a layup from Sweet, a drive by Benning, transition layups from Benning and Monson and an old-fashioned 3-point play from Carlie Sweet.
Monson topped the Raiders with 18 points, while Lamb, Benning and Ashley Arneson each added 10 points.
Minnesota West was granted a forfeit victory Saturday, when Fond du Lac notified the Lady Jays that it did not have enough players to field a team.
The Lady Jays are idle until Jan. 3, when Minnesota West has a 7 p.m. game at Buena Vista in Storm Lake, Iowa.