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MW basketball: Joseph's buzzer beater lifts Bluejays; Lady Jays recover from slow start to defeat Ridgewater

WILLMAR -- Jeremy Joseph was 1-for-9 from the field for Minnesota West on Saturday, but he made his one basket count. With the Bluejays trailing 69-68, he made a 3-pointer from the corner as time expired to clinch a 71-69 victory over Ridgewater ...

WILLMAR -- Jeremy Joseph was 1-for-9 from the field for Minnesota West on Saturday, but he made his one basket count. With the Bluejays trailing 69-68, he made a 3-pointer from the corner as time expired to clinch a 71-69 victory over Ridgewater in MCAC men’s basketball in Willmar.

“We stayed together when there were moments we could have fallen apart,” Minnesota West head coach Kristofer Babler said. “Instead of getting down on ourselves, we played through it. The game doesn’t end until the buzzer sounds.”

The Blue Jays started the game fast, jumping out to an early 15-4 lead, but Ridgewater fought back to make it a one-basket game by halftime and turned on the heat after half.

The Warriors started the second half on a 16-0 run. But that cushion wasn’t enough to hold off the Blue Jays.

“After that, we turned on the press and let our guys get up and pressure a little bit and things started going our way again,” Babler said.

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Kuol Chol scored 20 points with nine rebounds and five assists for Minnesota West, while Jayden Hampton scored 20 points with 10 rebounds. But, it was the role players that the coach said made the difference for the team.

“What was huge for us, was obviously Jeremy staying confident in his ability to make shots,” Babler said. “Kevin Carter stepped up with his ball pressure, he gave them a ton of trouble and is playing disciplined right now. Jordan Snelling went 2-for-3 from three and any time we get scoring out of him it’s a positive.”

Babler was also pleased with how his defense played against a trio of talented Ridgewater players.

We held their All-American  Akeem Oglesby to nine points,” the coach said. “They’ve got the (Marvin) Perkins and (Jack) Turnboll kids who are both over 50 percent from three this season.”

Perkins was 4-for-8 from behind the arc, on his way to scoring 13 points, while Turnbull was 3-for-6 on 3-pointers and scored nine.

The Bluejays (6-10, 2-1 MCAC) now find themselves in second place in the MCAC Southern Division and the nation’s No. 4 team, Anoka-Ramsey, up next on Wednesday in Coon Rapids.

Bluejays 35 71Ridgewater 38 69 Lady Jays 83, Ridgewater 57 WILLMAR -- Katherin Ihnen’s double-double helped propel Minnesota West past Ridgewater 83-57 in MCAC women’s basketball on Saturday in Willmar.

Ihnen led the Lady Jays in scoring and rebounding with 24 points and 10 boards. She was 11-for-19 from the field.

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Minnesota West started slow, and trailed 17-13 after the first quarter, but found its rhythm in the second quarter and ran away with the game.

“We haven’t come out strong at the beginning of the last couple of games,” Minnesota West head coach Rosalie Hayenga-Hostikka. “We just didn’t hit some shots in that first quarter. They’re big inside. We didn’t get a lot of second shots in the first quarter. We settled down and started hitting some shots and played a little more aggressively and like ourselves, I think.”

The Lady Jays defense stepped it up in the second quarter, holding Ridgewater to only nine points.

“We did a nice job of getting out on their better players and put the clamps down a little bit on defense,” Hayenga-Hostikka said. “Good defense always creates good offense.”

Tanner Gunnink scored 18 points with seven rebounds for Minnesota West, while Andrea Hinkeldey scored 11 with seven rebounds.

Emily Haubrich scored 14 points for the Lady Jays, and Taylor Noid had a team-high five assists, while also scoring five points. Ashlynn Wabeke scored 10 points with five rebounds and three assists.

Kaitlynn Kienholz led Ridgewater with 23 points.

Lady Jays 13 33 61 83 Ridgewater 17 26 45 57

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