Mustangs corral Huskies 81-69
MARSHALL, Minn. – Isabella Lenz posted 17 points and Alex Rondorf notched her second straight double-double but Southwest Minnesota State outmaneuvered Michigan Tech 81-69 at Recreation/Athletic Facility Thursday night in non-conference women's basketball. It was the first loss of the season for the Huskies as they dropped to 3-1. The Mustangs improved to 2-2.
Bri Stoltzman led Southwest Minnesota State with 21 points, 10 rebounds, and five assists. Hannah Parsley scored 18 points on 7 of 12 shooting. The Mustangs tallied a decisive 44 points in the paint.
"We put up a good fight," said head coach Sam Clayton. "We just gave up too many offensive boards and committed too many turnovers, both of which led to more possessions for a really good offensive team."
HOW IT HAPPENED
The Huskies owned the first five minutes of play and knocked down 5 of 6 shots for a 12-4 advantage, including a three by Sloane Zenner. Meanwhile, the Mustangs converted just one basket on their first eight tries. SMSU quickly adjusted on defense and caused four Husky turnovers to close back to a single possession. Lenz and Aubrey Swanson exchanged 3-point blows to close out the first quarter with MTU in front 19-18.
The Mustangs took a 21-20 lead on a second chance opportunity in the lane to start the second quarter and extended their edge to 28-22 on the fast break. Lenz's three from the right wing brought the Huskies back to a one-point margin but the Mustangs proceeded with a 7-1 run and marked a 39-36 lead into the locker room on 26 first-half points in the paint.
The Huskies shot 45-percent in the opening half and made 5 of 8 attempts from the 3-point arc. Lenz led Tech with 13 points.
Back-to-back threes and two quick MTU turnovers pushed SMSU to a 13-2 run and 14-point advantage to start the third quarter. Rondorf stemmed the onslaught with an offensive rebound and putback as Tech trailed 63-53 by the eight-minute mark of the final quarter.
Keeping within striking distance, Mackay pulled up in transition for a long two from the top of the key with 1:26 to play, but the Huskies remained behind 70-65. Stoltzman drove the lane for SMSU in response and drew a foul, resulting in two made free throws and enough scoreboard separation for the Mustangs to secure victory.
BY THE NUMBERS
Rondorf finished with 14 points, 10 rebounds, and four assists for Tech. Lenz shot 7-for-18 for 17 points with four rebounds and Mackay notched 16 points with five boards.
The Huskies gathered 45 rebounds compared to the Mustangs' 36 and added four blocks, two by Mady Draak off the bench.
Michigan Tech shot 41-percent (26-for-63), including 31-percent (5-for-16) from beyond the arc.
Southwest Minnesota State led 17-8 in turnovers.
The Huskies finish a stretch of five games in ten days at Minnesota Crookston on Saturday at 2 p.m. Fans can hear the action on Mix 93.5 FM WKMJ.