Minnesota Crookston moved to 9-5 (4-4 NSIC) with Saturday's victory.
CROOKSTON, Minn. – The University of Minnesota Crookston women’s basketball team staved off a late charge from University of Minnesota Duluth to upend the Bulldogs 66-61 at Lysaker Gymnasium in Crookston, Minn. The Golden Eagle defense held Minnesota Duluth to 35.2 percent from the field and just 27.3 percent from beyond the arc.
Minnesota Crookston moved to 9-5 (4-4 NSIC) with Saturday’s victory. The Golden Eagles continue to be on their best start since the 2015-16 season, where they opened the year with an 11-3 mark. Minnesota Crookston has traditionally struggled with Minnesota Duluth. The victory was just their fourth win over the Bulldogs since joining NCAA Division II in 1999. Minnesota Duluth drops to 7-4 (6-2 NSIC) with Saturday’s loss. The Golden Eagles are in fifth place in the NSIC North.
The Golden Eagles were propelled by a double-double from Isieoma Odor (R-Sr., F/C, Bloomington, Minn.) with 21 points and 10 boards. Odor was 7-of-16 from the field. She added three assists. Odor surpassed Kari Score for fifth all-time in career scoring at Minnesota Crookston. She needs 201 points to surpass Alexa Thielman for fourth all-time. Odor is a former teammate of Thielman’s. In addition, Odor needs 29 rebounds to move past Laurie Tyson for second all-time, and 31 boards to surpass Katrina Nordick for the all-time rebound mark.
Caitlin Michaelis (Sr., G, Marshfield, Wis.) added 10 points, including 2-of-5 from beyond the arc. Michaelis hit the go-ahead three-pointer late in the game Saturday. Bren Fox (Fr., F/C, Norwood Young America, Minn.) added five points and 11 boards. Paige Cornale (Fr., G, Oak Creek, Wis.) came off the bench for seven points, as did Abby Guidinger (So., G/F, Waukesha, Wis.). Kylea Praska (Fr., G, Thief River Falls, Minn.) chipped in six points, while Kylie Post (Fr., G, Corcoran, Minn.) notched five points, six rebounds, and three assists.
The Golden Eagles shot 19-of-47 from the field for 40.4 percent. Minnesota Crookston was 7-of-16 for 43.8 percent from behind the three-point line. The Golden Eagles shot 21-of-31 from the foul line for 67.7 percent. Minnesota Crookston overcame turnover woes as they had 11 assists to 20 turnovers on the day. The Golden Eagles controlled the glass with 49 rebounds to just 33 for the Bulldogs. Minnesota Crookston had 10 offensive boards, including five from Fox.
Minnesota Duluth struggled from the field in the first half, as they were just 13-of-39 for 33.3 percent, while they were just 4-of-14 from beyond the arc for 28.6 percent. The Bulldogs finished the game 25-of-71 for 35.2 percent, while they shot 6-of-22 from behind the three-point line for 27.3 percent. Minnesota Duluth shot 5-of-8 for 62.5 percent from the charity stripe.
The Bulldogs were guided by Brooke Olson with 10 points and nine rebounds. Ann Simonet finished with 10 points, five rebounds, and six assists. Sarah Grow chipped in eight points. Sammy Kozlowski, the leading scorer for UMD, was held to seven points. Minnesota Duluth had 18 assists to just six turnovers on the game.
Minnesota Crookston jumped out to a 7-2 advantage following a Michaelis bucket. The Golden Eagles extended their lead to 11-4 on a pair of free throws from Post. The Bulldogs closed to within 11-7 as Payton Kahl nailed a three-pointer. Minnesota Crookston utilized an 8-0 run to widen their gap to 18-7 propelled by five points from Cornale. The Golden Eagles were able to extend their advantage to 16 points following a Praska trey with 56 seconds remaining in the first quarter to go into the break ahead 26-10.
Minnesota Crookston moved their lead to a game-high 19 at 29-10 as they opened the second quarter with a Michaelis triple. The Bulldogs closed the lead back to 14 with a Simonet basket with 7:31 left in the second stanza. Minnesota Crookston took their advantage out to 33-17 on an Odor jumper. The Bulldogs utilized a 6-0 run to close within 33-23 on a Kozlowski hoop.
A pair of Stephanie McWilliams (Jr., G, Grand Forks, N.D.) free throws extended the lead out to 35-23 with 2:53 left in the second stanza. Minnesota Duluth responded as they went on a 4-0 run to cut the deficit to 35-27 on an Olson bucket. Minnesota Crookston countered with a Praska trey to extend the lead to 38-27. The Bulldogs closed the second quarter on a 5-0 run as they cut the lead to 38-32 heading into the locker room. Minnesota Duluth out-scored Minnesota Crookston 22-12 in the second quarter.
The Bulldogs built on their strong second quarter as they opened the third frame on a 5-0 run to cut the deficit to 38-37 on an Emma Boehm bucket. The Golden Eagles held on to the lead with a Post trey to push the advantage out to 41-37.
Minnesota Duluth continued to put a dent into the lead until they were able to knot the game up 44-44 on a Kozlowski triple with 3:27 remaining in the third quarter. Minnesota Crookston continued to stave off the Bulldogs as they went into the quarter break ahead 49-46 following a Guidinger free throw.
Minnesota Crookston widened their lead out to 52-48 on a Fox free throw with 8:04 left in the fourth quarter. Minnesota Duluth did not give in though as they countered with a 4-0 run to tie up the tilt 52-52 on a Grow jumper. The Golden Eagles again fended off the charge with three points from Odor.
Minnesota Duluth again responded with a 4-0 run as they took their first of the game 56-55 following back-to-back Olson baskets. The Bulldogs extended their lead to 58-55 following a pair of Maesyn Theisen free throws. Minnesota Crookston responded with a 4-0 run as they took the lead back 59-58 following a pair of Odor free throws. Minnesota Duluth knotted the game back up at 59-59 on a Simonet free throw.
The Golden Eagles responded as Michaelis nailed a three-pointer from long range, with a hand in her face, as Minnesota Crookston took the lead for good 62-59 with 1:17 remaining in the game. The Bulldogs pulled within 62-61 with a Kahl bucket. However, the Golden Eagles were able to hold off Minnesota Duluth late with crucial free throws.
Minnesota Crookston returns to the road as they trek to Northern State University Fri., Jan. 11 at 5:30 p.m. in Aberdeen, S.D.