WEST BASKETBALL: Lakers edge MW, 80-76

WORTHINGTON -- Sam Lynn isn't a fan of halftime. "I always say I'd rather play through halftime," she said. Wednesday night, that might have been a good idea for the Minnesota West women's basketball team. Taking a 40-32 lead into the break, MW's...

West's Jenna Donkersloot
Brian Korthals/Daily Globe Lady Jay Jenna Donkersloot (42) posts up in the paint during the second half against Iowa Lakes Wednesday in Worthington.

WORTHINGTON -- Sam Lynn isn't a fan of halftime.

"I always say I'd rather play through halftime," she said.

Wednesday night, that might have been a good idea for the Minnesota West women's basketball team.

Taking a 40-32 lead into the break, MW's lead disappeared in the first few minutes of the second half as Iowa Lakes defeated the Lady Jays 80-76.

"We played so well," MW head coach Mike Fury said. "We played good defense and kept them off the boards. They weren't getting second-chance points in the first half. Then halftime came and sometimes halftime isn't your friend -- I don't think it really was (Wednesday). That first five minutes was big because we let them back in and we could have built on that lead. They got back in it and they played well."


Lynn scored a team-best 16 points for the Lady Jays. Alyssa Smith added 13 points and seven rebounds, while LoRel Christensen had 10 points.

But in the end, the Lakers were too much on the offensive glass, scoring 20 second-chance points.

"We didn't box out at all, so that made a huge difference," Lynn said. "We gave up 15 or 20 points on the offensive glass. We were in position, we just didn't push them back. If we would have done that, I think it would have been a little different. Overall, we played pretty good. In the second half our offense wasn't as great, but we still put up some good numbers."

After trailing early, the Lady Jays (2-2) started to turn up the offense.

Using a 16-5 run, MW took a 7-4 deficit and turned it into a 20-13 lead after a three-point play by Rachel Pavelko (eight points, six rebounds).

A jumper by Jenna Donkersloot (eight points) pushed the lead to 31-19 later in the second half, but that would be as large as the lead would get for the Lady Jays.

IL made a couple of key baskets at the end of the half and trailed by eight (40-32) at the break.

Out of the break, Lynn had a nice dish to Donkersloot to push the lead back to 10 points.


However, after the early basket, MW couldn't buy a field goal.

"We just didn't box out on the shots and then we got in close I think we panicked a little bit and tried to go too fast," Lynn said. "We didn't really play within ourselves. I think we kind of let it get out of hand."

For the next 10 minutes, MW's only points came off six free throws. Meanwhile, the Lakers were making a run, taking a 55-48 advantage.

"We always talk about how big the first five minutes of the second half are and we came out sluggish," Fury said. "They worked their way back in and took the lead and then we had to play from behind. Offensively, we played fine, just the offensive rebounds broke our back. If they are scoring 20 second-chance points, that's the difference in the game."

A 3 by Lynn later cut the deficit to three points, 56-53, but that would be as close as MW could get in the next few minutes.

"We had a couple of bunnies that we missed," Fury said. "That hurt us. We were struggling and we weren't scoring. The other thing was we turned it over and we didn't get any good looks."

Enter Christensen.

The freshman hit a jumper with just less than five minutes remaining to cut the deficit to six points, 66-60.


She then followed with a pair of free throws, and after a jumper by IL, Christensen scored twice more as MW was down by two points (70-68) with three minutes remaining in the game.

After a Laker basket, Smith hit a pair of free throws to keep the difference at two points late in the contest.

Breanna Rients (eight points) and Brooke Kramer (five points) each hit a 3 late, but the Lakers made their free throws down the stretch to seal the 80-76 victory.

Shannon Heard finished with a game-high 27 for the Lakers on six-for-26 shooting. Fulda graduate Amy Paulzine had 15 points and seven rebounds, while Monica Deighton had 14 points.

"They are a good team and we knew coming into it that it was going to be a tough game," Lynn said. "We're not happy sticking close by any means, but we played pretty well, so we feel pretty good about that."

MW outrebounded the Lakers 50-48, but IL had the advantage on offensive boards and second-chance points.

"The first half they hurt us early, but in the second half they didn't hurt us down low, they just hurt us on the boards," Fury said. "We just have to get better on offensive rebounds. That's just a matter of wanting to. That's part of playing 'D' you have to want to finish it, you have to want to go get it. We just have to get more aggressive and see if we can take care of that."

MW will travel 0to face Northwestern on Tuesday.


IL 32 48 -- 80

MW 40 36 -- 76

IL (3FG-2FG-FT-TP) Terrell 0-5-1-11, Deighton 0-7-0-14, Pestka 0-1-0-2, Heard 3-3-12-27, Larson 0-1-1-3, Hageman 0-2-0-4, Geitzenauer 0-2-0-4, Paulzine 0-6-3-15. Totals 3-27-17-80.

MW (3FG-2FG-FT-TP) Pavelko 0-2-4-8, Rients 2-0-2-8, Kramer 1-1-0-5, Smith 0-3-7-13, Lynn 2-3-4-16, Hadler 0-1-0-2, Christensen 0-3-4-10, Donkersloot 0-4-0-8, Skorepa 0-3-0-6. Totals 5-20-21-76.

West's LoRel Christensen
Brian Korthals/Daily Globe Lady Jay LoRel Christensen (left) shoots over Iowa Lakes' BreeAnn Hageman (24) as Alyssa Smith (22) and Shayna Geitzenauer look on during the second half Wednesday night at Minnesota West.

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