MW WOMENS BASKETBALL: Lady Jays stun RamsWORTHINGTON — The Minnesota West Lady Jays shot 50 percent from the field, including a stellar 69 percent from behind the arc, to hand the Anoka-Ramsey Golden Rams their first Minnesota College Athletic Conference Southern Division loss of the season during a women’s basketball game Wednesday.
By: Jordan Willi, Worthington Daily Globe
WORTHINGTON — The Minnesota West Lady Jays shot 50 percent from the field, including a stellar 69 percent from behind the arc, to hand the Anoka-Ramsey Golden Rams their first Minnesota College Athletic Conference Southern Division loss of the season during a women’s basketball game Wednesday.
“This win gives us a ton of confidence going forward,” MW forward Tiffany Gehl said. “[Anoka-Ramsey] is on top of the conference, but we just showed them who the real top team is. When you can get a 19-point win over the top team in your conference, that is pretty cool.”
The Lady Jays jumped out to a 14-3 lead early in the first half on three 3-pointers from Brittany Hulstein, Jes Hermeling and Lindsey Drooger to go along with four points from Katey Granstra.
However, the Golden Rams surged back with nine straight points to cut the lead to two with 9 minutes to play in the half.
Minnesota West used back-to-back 3-point baskets by Drooger to spark a 22-9 run in the final 8:40 of the half to give the Lady Jays a 36-21 lead heading into the locker room.
“It was our defensive effort that really got us going tonight,” MW head coach Mike Fury said. “[Anoka-Ramsey] is a shooting team, they shoot the 3-ball like crazy and they hit them. To hold them to just 21 points in the first is impressive.”
The Lady Jays’ defense held the Golden Rams to just 8 of 34 shooting from the field and a stingy 3-for-14 from the 3-point line in the opening half.
“The fact that we didn’t turn the ball over much in the first half really made the difference for us,” Gehl said. “When we were at Anoka-Ramsey, we had so many turnovers that we couldn’t even get a shot off. Since we were able to limit turnovers, we could just box them out and stop their second chances.”
Anoka-Ramsey shot 32 percent overall and 29 percent from 3-point range.
“We played tough one-on-one defense tonight,” Granstra said. “Our guards were up in their faces and not allowing them to drive to the hoop. They didn’t rely on anyone to help them and were still able to play great one-on-one defense.”
Despite Minnesota West’s best effort, Anoka-Ramsey came out firing on all cylinders to start the second half, cutting the Lady Jays lead to eight with 14:43 remaining, but that was the closest the Rams would get for the rest of the game.
“[Anoka-Ramsey] came out ready to play in the second half, because they were mad that we were up by so much,” Gehl said. “We just kept playing our game and running the floor.”
Gehl got hot halfway through the second half when she outscored the whole Anoka-Ramsey lineup 10-2 over a 3-minutes span. The run pushed Minnesota West’s lead to 17.
“In the second half, I focused more on my free throws, because I didn’t really make those in the first half,” Gehl said. “I also ran the court a lot better. That is what I do best and that is what I have to do.”
Minnesota West closed out the half scoring six of the games last eight points to seal the win.
Gehl led the Lady Jays with 26 points in the game, with 20 of her 26 coming in the second half.
Hulstein also picked up her offensive play in the final frame, scoring 17 of her 22 points after halftime. Granstra grabbed 16 boards to lead the Lady Jays, while going 6 of 7 from the free-throw line.
“If I think about rebounding as the way I can contribute to the team more than scoring and get that into my head, then it helps me focus on getting those rebounds,” Granstra said.
The Golden Rams were led by Natasha Ambrose with 19 points, followed by Tactica Gonzalez who had 18 points.
The Lady Jays (17-6, 8-2) hit the court again Wednesday against Rochester in the first game of a men’s/women’s doubleheader starting in Rochester.
Daily Globe Reporter Jordan Willi
may be reached at 376-7335.
MINNESOTA WEST 85,
ANOKA-RAMSEY (18-5, 8-1): Bauer 3 0-0 7; Ambrose 7 2-3 19; Norman 1 1-1 3; Gonzalez 6 1-4 18; Schaub 3 1-2 7; Schramm 2 1-2 5; Howard 3 0-1 7. Totals: 25 6-13 66.
MINNESOTA WEST (17-6, 8-2): Hermeling 2 0-0 6; Eichenberger 2 5-8 10; Gehl 8 8-10 26; Hulstein 7 5-5 22; Drooger 5 0-0 13; Granstra 1 6-7 8. Totals: 25 24-30 85.
Anoka-Ramsey 21 45 — 66
Minnesota West 36 49 — 85
3-Point Goals: A-R 10 (Bauer, Ambrose 3, Gonzalez 5, Howard); MW 11 (Hermeling 2, Eichenberger, Gehl 2, Hulstein 3, Drooger 3). Rebounds: A-R 31 (Bauer, Ambrose 3, Norman 3, Gonzalez 2, Schaub 6, Schramm 3, Howard 3, Finklea 2); MW 56 (Hermeling 2, Eichenberger 4, Kazemba, Gehl 8, Hulstein 8, Drooger 4, Granstra 16). Total Fouls (Fouled Out): A-R 25 (Schramm); MW 12 (none). Technical Fouls: Gonzalez. Assists: A-R 5 (Bauer, Schaub 2, Schramm, Howard); MW (Hermeling, Eichenberger 2, Gehl, Hulstein 3, Drooger 2, Granstra 2). Steals: A-R 9 (Ambrose 3, Gonzalez 3, Schaub, Schramm, Howard); MW 3 (Hulstein). Blocked Shots: A-R 0 (none); MW 1 (Granstra). Turnovers: A-R 8, MW 17.