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MW WOMENS BASKETBALL: Lady Jays routed by Morningside

Brian Korthals/Daily Globe Minnesota West's Lindsey Drooger (33) works inside for a shot during Thursday's non-conference game against the Morningside JV team in Worthington.1 / 2
Brian Korthals/Daily Globe Minnesota West's Brittany Hulstein drives around a Morningside JV defender during a non-conference game Thursday at Worthington High School.2 / 2

WORTHINGTON -- Outscoring the Minnesota West Lady Jays by a huge 49-24 margin in the second half Thursday night, the Morningside (JV) Mustangs earned a 78-57 victory in a non-conference college women's basketball game at Worthington High School.

The Mustangs forced the Lady Jays to turn the ball over 25 times and used an 11-0 burst early in the second half to change a one-point deficit (39-38) into a 10-point lead (49-39).

"We didn't play well at all in the second half," Minnesota West head coach Mike Fury said after the game. "We didn't handle their pressure or take care of the ball, which allowed them to blow the game open a little bit. Our inability to take care of the ball was a big key in the result of the game."

Minnesota West, which is now 1-3 overall, closed the first half on a 15-5 run and took a 33-29 advantage into the locker room.

Katey Granstra (eight rebounds) scored nine of her 13 points in the opening 20 minutes to help lift the Lady Jays. She scored on an interior pass from Tiffany Gehl in the midst of Minnesota West's 10-point surge.

Gehl, who poured in a team-high 15 points, had earlier converted a steal into a layup -- right after Jes Hermeling connected on an 18-footer for the Lady Jays.

Lindsey Drooger (13 points, seven rebounds) swished a long 3-pointer from the top of the key to give Minnesota West a 31-26 lead with two minutes and 47 seconds left in the first half. Brittany Hulstein (nine points) then passed to Katherine Kazemba for a basket in the lane to make it 33-26.

But a 3-pointer by Cat Foster -- the seventh long-distance shot by the Mustangs in the first half -- trimmed the gap to four by halftime. Morningside then took control early in the second half with its 11-0 run.

Sparked by a full-court press that created havoc for the Lady Jays, the Mustangs scored in a variety of ways. Molly Fischer scored off a steal, Ashley Schroeder (14 points) hit a 3-pointer, and Sydney Gibson (17 points) sank a pair of free throws to help Morningside mount a 49-39 lead.

The Mustangs stayed in control and led by as many as 25 (78-53) late. Charlee Johnson and Casie Rehder both had eight points to help Morningside's cause, while Anna Brandt scored seven of her 10 points in the second half, as well.

Mara Eichenberger netted a 3-pointer in the second half for Minnesota West. Gehl, Hulstein and Drooger also connected from behind the arc to help the Lady Jays.

"You can't expect to win when you turn the ball over like we did," Fury said. "We were pretty happy with how things went in the first half, as we finished well and took a four-point lead at halftime.But give Morningside credit for disrupting things for us in the second half."

Minnesota West hosts Buena Vista JV Tuesday night at Worthington High School. Tipoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.



MORNINGSIDE JV: Fischer 1-2-0-7, Brandt 1-3-1-10, Sambrano 1-0-0-3, Johnson 2-1-0-8, Katus 1-0-0-3, Foster 1-0-0-3, Vondrak 0-2-1-5, Gibson 1-5-4-17, Rehder 0-3-2-8, Schroeder 1-3-5-14. Totals: 9-19-13-78.

MINNESOTA WEST (1-3): Hermeling 0-1-0-2, Eichenberger 1-0-0-3, Kazemba 0-1-0-2, Gehl 1-3-6-15, Hulstein 1-2-2-9, Drooger 2-2-3-13, Granstra 0-5-3-13. Totals: 5-14-14-57.

Morningside 29 49 -- 78

Minnesota West 33 24 -- 57