Cool in Blue: Lady Jays win 89-75 against Monroe College-Bronx

Minnesota West will play top-seeded Owens in semifinal women's basketball national tournament game at 5 p.m.

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Minnesota West Lady Jays celebrate their 89-75 win against Monroe College-Bronx in the NCJAA DIII women's basketball national tournament.
Dominic Burns/The Globe

ROCHESTER — The Minnesota West Lady Jays were in the driver’s seat for the first three quarters of their NJCAA DIII quarterfinal national tournament matchup with Monroe College-Bronx Thursday evening.

RCTC defeats Minnesota West 73-53 in NJCAA DIII women's basketball championship game.
Minnesota West plays rival Rochester in the championship game on Saturday at 5 p.m.
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Minnesota West hosted a send-off for the national tournament bound Lady Jays basketball team Tuesday morning. The Lady Jays were given a police escort through town before leaving for Rochester.

The Express made a late run and cut the Lady Jays’ lead from over 20 points to just nine, but Minnesota West held on, making free throws down the stretch for an 89-75 lead.

“My throat hurts, my hair got grayer,” said Minnesota West coach Rosalie Hayenga-Hostikka on the late scare. “We played so incredibly well. I think in that second half, it is just such a mental battle. They were in desperation mode, and I said ‘stop playing not to lose, play to win this game.’”

After the opening tip-off, the Lady Jays and Express traded baskets. The Express struggled in the first half with fouls, putting the Lady Jays in bonus. Minnesota West took control in the final five minutes of the quarter, creating a 16-3 scoring run.

“We did a good job of taking advantage of foul trouble and them having some bad mismatches,” said Hayenga-Hostikka.


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Olivia Hayenga (22) takes the ball towards the basket after creating a turnover in the other end against Monroe College-Bronx on Thursday.
Dominic Burns/The Globe

Janay Legagneur scored seven points before earning a technical foul for her reaction to her third whistle in the second quarter. She sat for the remainder of the half, and fouled out in the third quarter. Legagneur played nine minutes, scored 14 points, and had seven rebounds.

Tia Murray, the main option for the Lady Jays in the post, took advantage of the mismatched Express defense and scored a team-leading 24 points.

“It was a big relief,” said Murray. “That’s the tallest girl that they have. … I thought if we get her out, there is no stopping me, there is no stopping Dannyn, and there is no stopping Hattie.”

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Tia Murray (32) scores inside the paint for the Lady Jays in their national tournament semifinal win on Thursday.
Dominic Burns/The Globe

The Lady Jays offense thrived with the smaller lineup from Monroe, making 31-of-63 field goal attempts. The Lady Jays were an efficient 22-of-28 from the free throw line.

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Madisyn Huisman (5) takes a 3-point shot in the quarterfinal game against Monroe College-Bronx
Dominic Burns/The Globe

The Lady Jays had three players scoring 20 points or more. Madisyn Huisman scored 22 points, and Olivia Hayenga scored 21 points. Huisman dazzled on the court with her ability to make 3-pointers, and has a knack for drawing "and-one" opportunities under the basket through a hesitated shot.

“I think about my shots a lot,” said Huisman. “I think I need to just start shooting it, but I guess it works in my favor waiting a little bit then going at it.”

Brooklyn Scheitel-Taylor has played a lot of minutes for the Lady Jays in the two national tournament games. She had seven assists and seven points.

Audrey Drapeau, who has spent the season working as the backup point guard, has been working through concussion protocol and was unable to play in the tournament, so far.


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Brooklyn Scheitel-Taylor (1) handles the ball against Monroe College-Bronx in the NJCAA DIII national tournament quarterfinal on Thursday.
Dominic Burns/The Globe

“You really have to give it to Brooklyn,” said Murray. “She fights through everything.”

The Lady Jays took their foot off the gas in the fourth period, and began to turn the ball over to a press defense they had cut through with ease in the first half. Panic and anxiety began to fill the arena for Minnesota West supporters as the lead moved from 20, to 15, and then to its lowest at nine.

“We played nervous for a while,” said Huisman. “We just need to calm down and not foul as much as we do. We can’t give them easy shots.”

Huisman helped ice the game for the Lady Jays as the Monroe coach was assessed a technical foul with 1:03 left in the game. Huisman sank both shots, and was 7-of-9 from the line.

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Dannyn Peterson (33) takes a mid-range jump shot against Monroe College-Bronx on Thursday.
Dominic Burns/The Globe

The leading scorer for the Express was Ariella Johnson with 23 points. Nyeira Spady had 14 points, with four treys. Aleah James scored 12, and Sierra Jones scored nine.

The Express made 34.9% from the field going 29-of-83, and were 11-of-18 from the free throw line.

The Lady Jays will play top-seeded Owens in the semifinals. The game is scheduled to start at 5 p.m.

“They are the No. 1 seed for a reason,” said Hayenga-Hostikka. “They are very talented. We are going to have to play very well.”


Minnesota West 30 48 72 89

Monroe College-Bronx 14 34 54 75

MINNESOTA WEST (3FG-2FG-FT-TP) Scheitel-Taylor 0-2-3-7, Huisman 1-6-7-22, Hayenga 2-6-3-21, Murray 1-9-3-24, Peterson 0-1-4-6, DeVries 0-2-0-4, Potter 1-0-2-5. TOTALS 5-26-22-89.

MONROE COLLEGE-BRONX (3FG-2FG-FT-TP) Jones 0-3-3-9, James 2-2-2, Spady 4-0-2-14, Legagneur 0-6-1-13, Maldonado 0-0-2-2, Traverso 0-1-0-2, Johnson 0-11-1-23. TOTALS 6-23-11-75.

Dominic Burns is a reporter at the Globe who covers general news and sports.
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