College basketball: Rochester a tough road to maneuver

DAILY GLOBE ROCHESTER -- The Rochester Yellowjackets men's basketball team solidified its No. 4 ranking in the nation Wednesday night. And the Yellowjackets women's team might have looked worthy of such a high ranking, too.In the first game of a ...


ROCHESTER - The Rochester Yellowjackets men’s basketball team solidified its No. 4 ranking in the nation Wednesday night. And the Yellowjackets women’s team might have looked worthy of such a high ranking, too.
In the first game of a doubleheader at Rochester, the Jacket women rolled to a 93-50 win over the Minnesota West Lady Jays. In the nightcap, the men held off a determined Bluejay team, 94-73.
The Lady Jays are off on Saturday. But the Bluejays will host Riverland in a 1 p.m. start in Worthington.
Rochester 93, Lady Jays 50
Things began badly for the Lady Jays and they didn’t get any better.
The Yellowjackets buzzed to a 23-8 first quarter advantage, leading with their aggressive, trapping defense. They held a 40-17 lead at halftime and never allowed the visitors to make a legitimate run.
“Definitely disappointed in our execution,” admitted West head coach Rosalie Hayenga-Hostikka, whose team committed 18 first half turnovers and had 29 for the game.
Rochester improved to 10-8 overall and 3-1 in the Southern Division with the victory and West fell to 8-9 and 2-2.
Four Rochester players scored in double figures, led by Victoria Asplund with 21 points.
Tanner Gunnink, in her first game back after missing two games with an injury, scored 12 points with 12 rebounds. Breanna Nelson added 11 points. Point guard Taylor Noid had six assists along with her seven points.
The Yellowjackets’ trapping defense, said Hayenga-Hostikka, “just totally took us out of our game.”
It didn’t help that the Jays were still missing injured sophomore post Brooke Henning to injury and that another fine inside player, Becca Linder, wasn’t able to make the trip.
“You have to give them credit,” the Lady Jays coach said about the Jackets, who started slow this year but have since been playing winning basketball. “They took us out of everything we were trying to do.”
Lady Jays 8 17 31 50
Rochester 23 40 67 93
LADY JAYS (3FG-2FG-FT-TP) - Hermeling 1-1-2-7, Nelson 3-1-0-11, Noid 1-1-2-7, Kramer 0-2-0-4, Gunnink 0-6-0-12, Evans 0-1-0-2, Abella 0-3-1-7. Totals 5-15-5-50. ROCHESTER (3FG-2FG-FT-TP) - Ahlrich 2-3-0-12, Asplund 0-10-1-21, Bunqum 2-2-1-11, Ellis 0-2-1-5, Foster 0-4-0-8, Gonzalez 0-3-2-8, Klunder 1-2-0-7, Koski 0-3-1-7, Ratliff 0-2-0-4, Svoboda 0-5-0-10. Totals 5-36-6-93.
Rochester 94, Bluejays 73
Like their women counterparts did, the Yellowjacket men got off to a good start and led by 10 at halftime and by about 20 points in the second half. The Bluejays cut the lead to six with about 12 minutes remaining. But the home team held on.
“We had a good effort. Had good execution. We just didn’t make up enough shots,” said Minnesota West head coach Justin Heckenlaible.
Freshman Marquise Walker led the winners with 23 points. Four other Rochester players reached double figures.
West got 17 points from 6-2 guard Tyler Aquallo, 14 from Zech Adams, 12 from Justin Kruse and 10 apiece from Domininc Nealy and Jordan Chester. Aquallo had four assists and six rebounds.
“We had to handle their pressure. And for the most part, we did,” said Heckenlaible.
The Jays also needed to counter Rochester’s fine transition game and stay close in the rebounding numbers. In the first half, Rochester out-rebounded West by just one, 19-18, but the Jackets finished with a 42-32 rebounding edge.
The two teams were fairly even in 3-point shooting, with Rochester making six of 16 and West five of 18. The Yellowjackets converted 38 of 70 field goals overall while West made 31 of 68.
Rochester is 16-2 overall and 4-1 in Southern Division action. Minnesota West is 4-11 and 1-4.
Bluejays 39 73
Rochester 49 94
BLUEJAYS (3FG-2FG-FT-TP) - Yelverton 0-0-0-0, Aquallo 3-3-2-17, Adams 0-7-0-14, Nealy 0-5-0-10, Prouty 0-0-0-0, Chester 2-2-0-10, Pennington 0-3-2-8, Kruse 0-5-2-12, Koerselman 0-1-0-2. Totals 5-26-6-73
ROCHESTER (3FG-2FG-FT-TP) - Moore 0-1-0-2, Kady 5-0-0-15, Nord 1-2-0-7, Tollefson 0-0-1-1, Coddon 0-4-6-14, Samuels 0-5-2-12, Ratliff 0-6-0-12, Gurley 0-1-0-2, Walker 0-11-1-23, Sandifer 0-2-2-6. Totals 6-32-12-94,


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