MOORHEAD — The Minnesota Crookston women’s basketball team needed an almost perfect night to have a chance to upset Minnesota State Moorhead.
Instead, the Golden Eagles got their worst scoring half in almost seven years.
The Dragons, NSIC champions the last three seasons, ran the Golden Eagles out of Nemzek Fieldhouse on Friday, winning 89-43 on the strength of lights-out shooting and stellar defense.
MSU Moorhead (7-2, 2-0 NSIC) shot 33-59 from the floor and 14-23 from 3-point range, while UMC shot just 12-of-58 and 5-of-26.
"I don't think we closed out the shooters as tight as we would like to," said UMC coach Mike Roysland. "But I think as a whole our offense kinda put our defense in a tough situation."
Megan Hintz, the NSIC North Preseason Player of the Year, was her usual dominant self, scoring a game-high 19 points, but others got involved for the Dragons as well. Katie Tornstrom and Peyton Boom added 18 and 12, respectively, and no Dragon took more than 10 shots.
The Golden Eagles (1-5, 0-2) were led by Alyssa Peterson (Fr., G), who scored 15 points on 4-of-12 shooting, 3-of-8 from beyond the arc. Paige Cornale (So., G) and Abby Guidinger (Jr., G) both chipped in six.
MSU Moorhead surged away from UMC with a 17-0 run and led 33-12 after the first quarter, a lead which ballooned to 51-17 at halftime.
"It's just about mental toughness when it comes to those things," Guidinger said. "They're gonna hit great shots, you just gotta keep playing great defense and continue to stay on course."
The 17 points were the Golden Eagles’ fewest in a half since a 68-41 loss to Winona State on Jan. 19, 2013.
"I think we got a lot of good looks," Roysland said. "You gotta be able to make a shot with a hand in the face too, but I thought our kids were a little bit tentative and I thought that was the big component of not making shots tonight."
After the break, the Dragons let off the gas pedal some, but hardly enough for the Golden Eagles to threaten, as the margin never went below 30 points.
"It's just doing the little things right, like making the easy shots," Peterson said. "We're just in a little bit of a slump right now, but we should bounce back."
UP NEXT: Minnesota Crookston heads to Aberdeen, S.D. to take on Northern State at 4 p.m.
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