The Golden Eagles fall to 10-11 (5-10 NSIC).

MARSHALL, Minn. – Southwest Minnesota State University used 12 early points from Erin Baxter to lead a dominant first quarter as the Mustangs took down the University of Minnesota Crookston women’s basketball team 78-71. The Golden Eagles played even with the Mustangs in the second half. However, they would be unable to overcome the early 41-34 deficit at the half. Friday's tilt was played at the R/A Facility in Marshall, Minn.

    The Golden Eagles fall to 10-11 (5-10 NSIC) with Friday’s loss. Southwest Minnesota State improves to 10-10 (7-8 NSIC). The Mustangs have won three of their last four games. Minnesota Crookston has won six of the last eight games in the series, despite Friday’s result.

    Minnesota Crookston looked to Isieoma Odor (R-Sr., F/C, Bloomington, Minn.) with 25 points on 11-of-20 from the field. Odor added five boards. She has 1,388 career points in her career. Odor needs 72 points to surpass her former teammate Alexa Thielman for fourth all-time on the career scoring list. Odor scored 21 of her 25 in the second half, as she overcame a 2-of-7 start from the field, along with two early fouls.

    Paige Cornale (Fr., G, Oak Creek, Wis.) continued her strong play of late with a career-high 14 points. She is averaging 10.0 points per game in her last four games. Cornale shot 5-of-13 from the field, and 2-of-3 from beyond the arc. Caitlin Michaelis (Sr., G, Marshfield, Wis.) added 11 points on 4-of-6 from the field, and 2-of-4 from behind the three-point line. Kylea Praska (Fr., G, Thief River Falls, Minn.) and Kylie Post (Fr., G, Corcoran, Minn.) each added six points.

    Minnesota Crookston shot 27-of-60 from the field for 45.0 percent. The Golden Eagles were 6-of-15 from three-point range for 40.0 percent. Minnesota Crookston was 11-of-14 for 78.6 percent from the foul line.

    Friday’s loss was due in part to ball control, as the Golden Eagles turned the ball over 21 times, with just 13 assists. In addition, the Mustangs dominated on the glass 47-25, including 20 offensive rebounds.

    Southwest Minnesota State was ignited by the play of Erin Baxter off the bench, as she notched 22 points on 7-of-11 from the field. Meleah Reinhart chipped in 14 points. Caleigh Rodning finished with 11 points and eight boards. Jenna Borchers added nine points and five rebounds. Abuk Akoi chipped in eight points and six rebounds.

    The Mustangs were 26-of-61 from the field for 41.6 percent. Southwest Minnesota State shot 8-of-28 for 28.6 percent from beyond the arc. The Mustangs finished 18-of-22 from the charity stripe for 81. Percent.

    Southwest Minnesota State also struggled with turnovers as they had just nine assists to 27 turnovers.

    The Mustangs ran out to a 6-2 lead following an Akoi bucket. Post hit a pair from the stripe to pull Minnesota Crookston within 6-4. Southwest Minnesota State countered with another run, as they utilized a 6-2 run to widen their lead out to 12-6 with a Baxter bucket.

    The Golden Eagles were able to counter using a 6-1 run to cut the deficit to 13-12 led by a pair of three-pointers from Praska. Baxter responded with a pair of treys for the Mustangs to extend their advantage to 19-12 with 2:54 remaining in the first quarter.

    The Mustangs continued to hold the advantage and extended their lead out to 26-17 on a Sarah Buysse triple. Minnesota Crookston utilized a Cornale trey to pull within 26-20 going into the quarter break.

    Southwest Minnesota State used a Stelter jumper to move their lead out to 28-20 early in the second quarter. The Golden Eagles were able to slice the lead to 30-24 with a Bren Fox (Fr., F/C, Norwood Young America, Minn.) bucket. The Mustangs countered with a Borchers three-pointer to extend the lead out to 33-24.

    Southwest Minnesota State pushed the advantage out to a game-high 13 points on a Sara Teske bucket. The Golden Eagles were able to make their move using a pair of treys from Michaelis, and an Odor hoop as they trimmed the deficit to 39-34 with 1:01 remaining in the second quarter. Teske hit a basket for the Mustangs in the final seconds of the second stanza to put the Mustangs ahead 41-34 at the break.

    Southwest Minnesota State continued to hold an early lead in the third quarter following an Baxter hoop to push their lead to 47-38. Minnesota Crookston answered with a 7-0 run paced by five points from Odor as they put a dent in the Mustangs lead 47-45.

    The Mustangs pushed their lead back out to 52-46 with a Rodning triple. Minnesota Crookston responded with a basket from Odor to trim the lead down to 52-48. Southwest Minnesota State came right back with an 8-0 run guided by a Rodning trey and a Reinhart old-fashioned three-point play as they pushed out to a 60-48 advantage.

    Minnesota Crookston responded with a 6-0 run as a Cornale fast-break lay-up cut the lead to 60-54 with 38 seconds left in the third quarter. A Reinhart free throw put the Mustangs ahead 61-54 going into the quarter break.

    Southwest Minnesota State extended their lead to 66-56 early in the fourth quarter with a pair of Rodning free throws. An Amber Schoenicke (Jr., F/C, Marshall, Wis.) hoop with seven minutes left in the game sliced the lead down to 66-60.

    The Mustangs countered with an 8-2 run as a Borchers three-pointer put them ahead 74-62. A 5-0 run ignited by a Cornale triple put Minnesota Crookston down just 74-67 with 3:45 left in the game.

    Southwest Minnesota State hit their free throws down the stretch to hold off the late charge by the Golden Eagles 78-71.

    Minnesota Crookston will look to rebound Sat., Feb. 2 at 4 p.m. against University of Sioux Falls.