The Golden Eagles end their season 10-19.
SIOUX FALLS, S.D.—It’s playoff time for the seventh seeded Golden Eagles women’s basketball team as they traveled to the University of Sioux Falls, who was the two seed in the south half of the NSIC.
The Cougars would use a balanced offense to avoid the upset against UMC 89-74.
The Golden Eagles end their season 10-19, while the Cougars will advance to the second round of the NSIC/Sanford Health tournament in the Sanford Pentagon on Saturday.
The Golden Eagles would come out of the gates strong, hitting their first two of three, three point attempts, with one coming from Paige Weakley (Jr., G, Kearney, Mo.) and another one from senior Caitlin Michaelis (Sr., G, Marshfield, Wis.). The Golden Eagles would lead 9-7 very early on in the ball game.
The Golden Eagles would eventually take an 11-9 lead, on a pair of Isieoma Odor (R-sr., F, Bloomington, Minn.) free throws. The Cougars countered with a 13-3 run to take a 23-14 lead.
Minnesota Crookston would fight back. The Golden Eagles would score the next four points on a Michaelis drive and finish, followed by a Kylie Post (Fr., G, Corcoran, Minn.) jumper that found a friendly role and eventually dropped through the net to cut the Cougar lead to 23-18.
In the second quarter, the Cougars would score the first three points of the quarter, but much like they did in the first stanza, the Golden Eagles would fight back.
Trailing 27-18, Odor would score five straight points, including a three-point make for the second straight game to cut the Cougar lead to just four, at 27-23.
The game would continue to be back and forth late in the second quarter, and after trailing by as many as 12 in the second quarter, UMC would head into the locker room feeling pretty good about themselves, down 40-32.
In the first half, UMC would get scoring from many different players. Odor led the way with nine points, followed by eight points from Michaelis and seven points from Post. Bren Fox (Fr., C, Norwood Young America, Minn.) added five and Weakley hit a three for her only bucket of the first half.
The Golden Eagles shot the ball effectively in the first half, at 41.7 percent and made four from beyond the three point line. The Golden Eagles did turn the ball over 11 times, compared to just five for the Cougars.
It would be Minnesota Crookston’s basketball coming out of the halftime break and that would be the start of a 4-0 run to cut the Cougar lead to 40-36.
In the third quarter, after the Cougars would find some separation, UMC would eventually cut the lead to three at 53-50 after a Kylie Post drive and finish.
The game would continue to be back and forth, as both teams would trade baskets the majority of the third quarter.
In the final stanza, it was the three point ball that proved to be too much for Minnesota Crookston, as the Cougars would hit back-to-back threes to stretch their lead to 14, their largest of the game.
UMC would show tremendous fight down the stretch of the game, but the Cougars would hit some big shots and make their free throws to close out the seventh seeded Golden Eagles.
The Golden Eagles would have three scorers in double-figures, including Odor with 23 points and eight rebounds, while Michaelis and Kylie Post had 17 and 13, respectively. Michaelis would score all but two of her points from behind the three point line. Bren Fox also had a monster game, finishing with eight points and 13 rebounds. Weakley had nine points on the night, including going 6-6 from the charity stripe.
The Cougars were led offensively by Jessie Geer, who always seemed to hit a big shot in the game, as she finishes with 29 points.
As a team, UMC shot 46.2 percent from the field and 50 percent from three. The Golden Eagles pulled down 34 rebounds, compared to the 35 for the Cougars.