Lady Jays in the pink, Bluejay men succumb to Anoka-Ramsey
Minnesota West basketball teams split Saturday with visiting Golden Rams
WORTHINGTON -- The Minnesota West women’s basketball team looked pretty in pink Saturday afternoon as they rolled to an 81-61 victory over visiting Anoka-Ramsey. And the West men continued to struggle due to lack of depth, falling to the Golden Rams 76-60.
Wearing pink jerseys for the Coaches Versus Cancer campaign, the Lady Jays improved to 23-2 on the season and 9-1 in the MCAC Southern Division. The Bluejay men led Anoka-Ramsey early in the second half but were not able to sustain it.
The 2022-23 enters the home stretch for both West teams, who return to action Wednesday on the road against MState-Fergus Falls. The men have just three games remaining. The women, who are ranked No. 3 in the nation, try to stay sharp for post-season action.
Anoka-Ramsey 76, Bluejays 60
Offensively, it was a game of spurts for the Bluejays, who were able to dress just eight players.
They were cold to start, allowing A-R to get to an 8-0 lead before they scored their first points almost four minutes after the opening tip. They took a 15-13 lead when Jacob Dorian drove the lane for a short lay-in. But another long cold spell let the Rams get a 24-15 lead with six and a half minutes to play in the first half.
West led 33-32 early in the second half, but at 7:30 Anoka-Ramsey led 54-43. Trying to get back in the game, the Jays attempted too many low-percentage shots after that, and the Rams maintained a safe lead.
“Their goal is to speed you up,” said West head coach Brian Stoebner. “They did their job. And we didn’t score for, what it seemed, was three weeks. We just gotta do a better job of controlling the tempo.”
Elijah Williams finished with 20 points for West and Bie Ruei had 18.
Anoka-Ramsey enjoyed a big 42-21 rebounding edge.
“They beat us on the offensive boards and they transitioned us,” said Stoebner, who noted that the Bluejays had just one point off their bench.
He added: “Sometimes we rely on one or two guys to rebound. Everybody has to rebound.”
Anoka-Ramsey 31 76
Bluejays 29 60
ANOKA-RAMSEY (3FG-2FG-FT-TP) -- Ellingson 1-3-2-11, Owens 0-9-4-22, Say 0-4-0-8, T.Lee 0-3-2-8, Adkins 0-4-0-8, Tinnel 0-1-0-2, Jingeo 1-1-2-7, Phillips 0-3-0-6, Colon 0-4-0-4. Totals 2-30-10-76.
BLUEJAYS (3FG-2FG-FT-TP) -- Ruei 1-5-5-18, C.Drent 0-2-0-4, Daho 1-1-2-7, Neyail 1-2-0-7, Williams 3-3-5-20, Ndumbe 0-0-2-2, Bezoni 0-0-0-0, Dorian 0-1-0-2. Totals 6 15-14-60.
Lady Jays 81, Anoka-Ramsey 61
In a strong first half, Minnesota West moved well, passed well and finished well in taking a 39-22 lead into halftime. For the game, the Lady Jays had 19 assists.
“Our goal is greater than 16. I think 20 is our gold standard,” said head coach Rosalie Hayenga-Hostikka.
The second half was not as impressive, but despite that they took care of their business after allowing the Rams to climb to within 61-54 early in the fourth quarter.
“I don’t feel we played very well in the second half. The energy wasn’t very good. But we took care of it when they made a run at us,” Hayenga-Hostikka said.
The Golden Rams can be dangerous. They took a 13-4 record into the game.
Freshman Olivia Hayenga scored 16 points in the first half and finished with a game-high 27. Tia Murray scored 22. Both players had 10 rebounds apiece as West out-rebounded A-R 49-45.
Point guard Brooklyn Scheitel-Taylor dished out seven assists. Hayenga and Murray both had three assists. Scheitel-Taylor and Murray both had three steals among the 12 total steals that the Lady Jays gathered.
Anoka-Ramsey 12 22 49 61
Lady Jays 21 39 59 81
ANOKA-RAMSEY (3FG-2FG-FT-TP) -- Morris 1-0-1-4, Casey 1-4-5-16, Arnoldi 0-5-5-15, Bell 1-2-3-10, Kanenwisher 0-0-1-1, Kehr 0-7-1-15. Totals 3-18-17-61.
LADY JAYS (3FG-2FG-FT-TP) -- Scheitel-Taylor 0-2-1-5, Hayenga 1-11-2-27, Huisman 0-2-5-9, Murray 0-9-4-22, Peterson 0-3-0-6, Drapeau 0-0-0-0, Potter 2-2-0-10, DeVries 0-1-0-2. Totals 3-30-12-81.