Lady Jays lose to disciplined Lancers, 71-60
WORTHINGTON -- On the one hand, Tuesday night was a good starting point for the Minnesota West Lady Jays. On the other hand, it was frustrating -- it showed them how far they still have to go.
The new 2019-20 version of the West women’s basketball team lost its first game of the regular season, and its first on the Worthington floor, by a 71-60 margin against the Mount Marty JV team.
Leading almost throughout, the Lancers exhibited strong 3-point shooting, deft passing, and disciplined defense. After trailing 30-16 in the second quarter, the Lady Jays reeled off 14 straight points to tie the score 30-30, but Mount Marty scored eight of the next nine and never looked back.
“They definitely looked more prepared than we were,” said veteran Minnesota West head coach Rosalie Hayenga-Hostikka. “I think they out-hustled us. That’s, I think, what I’m most disappointed in. They got a lot of offensive rebounds. And I was very disappointed in our execution of things. We got lost out there, we didn’t rotate.”
The Jays are mixing in a host of freshmen this season with a nucleus of three experienced sophomores. Rome wasn’t built in a day.
“The good thing is, it’s still the beginning of the season. A lot of room for improvement. This is a real good tester from where we start,” said West sophomore Emily Shaffer, who led her team with 23 points. “I know from experience going straight from high school into college isn’t easy.”
Mount Marty took a 17-12 first quarter lead and stretched it to 30-16 on a Callie Otkin 3-point shot. The Lady Jays hustled back, cutting the margin to 30-24 with 5:59 to go in the half. A Lexie Ramsey driving layup, a Natasha Diaz layup, and a Melissa Brandt turnaround left-handed layup off the glass knotted it at 30-all. But the Jays could not get a lead.
The Lancers maintained a slim advantage through the third quarter and successfully turned back repeated comeback attempts in the fourth quarter -- handling West’s pressure with excellent spacing, timely and accurate passing, and good offensive rebounding.
For the game, Mount Marty made 12 of 36 3-point attempts compared to West’s four of 18. Overall, West connected on just 33 percent of its shots while Mount Marty made 41 percent.
“I thought we had a lot of chances. I think we missed some easy bunnies. We didn’t shoot well. It always helps if you shoot well,” said Hayenga-Hostikka.
Otkin led the Lancers with 24 points.
Emily Schroer had 11 points for Minnesota West. Shaffer and Ramsey had eight rebounds apiece. Ramsey also came up with five steals.