The Golden Eagles improved to 6-14.
ST. PAUL, Minn. – The University of Minnesota Crookston women’s basketball team ended the game on a 20-9 run as they toppled Concordia University, St. Paul 75-60 Sat., Jan. 27 in St. Paul, Minn. The Golden Eagles had a big fourth quarter as they out-scored the Golden Bears 26-13 in the final period. Isieoma Odor (R-Jr., F/C, Bloomington, Minn.) was vital down the stretch as she put in nine of her 17 points in the final frame. Odor did not start the second half after securing four fouls in the first half. Her 13 minutes in the second half proved substantial as the Golden Eagles earned the victory.
Minnesota Crookston moved to 6-14 (6-10 NSIC) with Saturday’s victory. The Golden Eagles have been playing improved basketball over the last month as they have secured five of their six wins since Dec. 31.
The Golden Eagles had a well-balanced effort, especially led by their upperclassmen. Odor led the team with a double-double of 17 points and 11 rebounds in just 22 minutes on the floor. She was 8-of-12 from the field. Micaela Noga (Sr. G, Parkers Prairie, Minn.) was one shy of her season-high as she had 22 points on 6-of-17 from the field and 8-of-9 from the charity stripe. Noga has 1,036 career points. She needs five more points to surpass Jessica Forsline for eighth all-time in scoring. Caitlin Michaelis (Jr., G, Marshfield, Wis.) added 13 points and eight boards, while Emily Gruber (Jr., F, Monticello, Minn.) notched 12 points and five rebounds.
The Golden Eagles added seven points off the bench from Stephanie McWilliams (So., G, Grand Forks, N.D.), while Abby Guidinger (Fr., G/F, Waukesha, Wis.) notched seven boards.
UMC shot 27-of-70 from the field for 38.6 percent. The Golden Eagles were 7-of-21 for 33.3 percent from beyond the arc. They were 14-of-22 from the foul line, as they improved in the second half from the stripe after only going 1-of-6 from the line in the first two quarters.
UMC and Concordia-St. Paul had equal totals on the glass with 45 boards. The Golden Eagles led the offensive boards with 17.
The Golden Bears got out to an early 7-0 advantage following a pair of free throws from Anna Schmitt. Minnesota Crookston finally got on the scoreboard four minutes into the game as Michaelis got to the hoop for a bucket. Michaelis started a 7-0 run for the Golden Eagles as they knotted the tally up 7-7 on a basket from Noga.
Concordia-St. Paul took the lead back 9-7 on a layup from Ayla Lemke. Minnesota Crookston responded quickly with another 7-0 run ignited by Noga, who was able to get to the hoop at will on back-to-back opportunities. Noga’s play would lead the Golden Eagles to a 14-9 advantage. The Golden Bears would be able to cut the deficit to 14-12 as Lee nailed the trey. UMC came up in a big spot again as they moved their advantage to 18-14 with an Odor jumper. Concordia-St. Paul would be able to cut the lead down to 18-17 as one of the league’s best scorers Schmitt hit a triple. UMC ended the first quarter with a jumper from Gruber and led 20-17.
Schmitt brought Concordia-St. Paul back within one at 20-19 to open the second quarter. The Golden Eagles countered with a 5-0 run ignited by a Michaelis trey as they took the 25-19 advantage. On the other end, Kayla Miller was fouled beyond the arc and hit all three from the stripe to bring the Golden Bears within 25-22. Minnesota Crookston brought their lead back out to six points on an Odor bucket with five minutes left in the second quarter. That is when Concordia-St. Paul would turn up the pace as they came within one point as Lee hit a triple and Becker hit a jumper to make it 29-28 with 1:45 remaining. The Golden Eagles would fend off the charge for the moment as McWilliams hit 1-of-2 from the charity stripe to extend the lead out to 30-28. However, the Golden Bears came right back with a Becker three-pointer as they took their first lead since early in the first quarter. Minnesota Crookston got the lead back as Noga connected on a triple to make it 33-31. Unfortunately, Ellie Gess responded as time expired for the Golden Eagles as she nailed a trey as Concordia-St. Paul took the 34-33 lead going into the locker room.
Minnesota Crookston looked to 11 points from Noga, who was able to penetrate the defense of Concordia-St. Paul and come up with 11 first-half points on 5-of-10 from the field. Odor added eight points, but got into foul trouble as she had four fouls going into the second half. Michaelis added eight points, while Gruber notched five points.
The Golden Eagles shot 14-of-39 from the field for 35.9 percent. UMC was 4-of-11 from beyond the arc for 36.4 percent. Their struggles came from the stripe where they were just 1-of-6 on freebies for 16.7 percent.
Concordia-St. Paul looked to Schmitt for nine points on 3-of-7 from the field. Haydn Becker came off the bench for five points, six rebounds and four assists. Lexi Lee came off the bench for seven points, while Lemke notched five for the Golden Bears.
Concordia-St. Paul was 11-of-34 from the field for 32.4 percent. The Golden Bears were 6-of-18 from beyond the arc for 33.3 percent and 6-of-7 from the charity stripe for 85.7 percent.
Concordia-St. Paul won the rebounding edge in the first half 27-24. The Golden Bears struggled to hold on to the ball as they had nine turnovers led by four from Kayla Miller.
The Golden Bears moved their lead to 36-33 early on in the third quarter as Schmitt hit a pair of free throws. UMC came right back as Gruber scored four-consecutive points to put the Golden Eagles back into the 37-36 lead. However, the Golden Bears countered on their offensive end with a Miller triple to take the lead right back 39-37. UMC did not stay down long as Gruber continued her hot start to the third quarter with a triple to put the Golden Eagles up 42-41. Concordia-St. Paul continued the seesaw affair as Miller drove the court for a bucket to make it 43-42. The two teams continued to trade baskets with UMC going into the quarter break with a 49-47 lead.
The Golden Eagles started the fourth quarter extending their lead to 54-49 after a McWilliams bucket. The Golden Bears cut the deficit back down to 54-51 with a Sydney Weierke bucket. UMC responded as Odor took over with seven-straight points to extend the lead to 61-53 with 5:01 left in the game. Concordia-St. Paul answered with a Lee triple to cut the deficit to 61-56. Minnesota Crookston combatted the charge as Odor found Guidinger in the post to move the lead out to 63-56. On the next possession, Michaelis came away with the steal and took it right to the hoop where her bucket gave the Golden Eagles a 65-56 lead. UMC won by their biggest lead of the night 75-60 and had a huge fourth quarter on the night.
UMC returns home for a four-game stand beginning Feb. 2 against No. 8 Augustana University at 6 p.m.