Golden Eagles can't keep pace with Dragons in third quarter of 77-67 loss
For three quarters, Minnesota Crookston women's basketball was dead-even with Minnesota State Moorhead. One quarter just got away.
The Golden Eagles fell 77-67 to the Dragons Friday night at Nemzek Fieldhouse in Moorhead, as MSUM (2-1, 1-0 NSIC) used a huge third quarter to build a cushion substantial enough to last the rest of the game.
Freshman guard Jes Mertens scored 17 points and redshirt sophomore forward Mary Burke added 16 for UMC (0-3, 0-1), which was tied with MSUM at 16 after one quarter of play. But the Dragons took the lead on a 3-pointer by Mariah McKeever with eight minutes left before halftime, and held it for the rest of the game.
Minnesota State Moorhead led just 32-31 at halftime before it exploded in the third quarter, hitting 13 of 21 shots on its way to a 29-point frame. But the Golden Eagles were successful on offense as well: they shot 72 percent from the field, holding the Dragon lead to a manageable nine points after the quarter.
UMC came no closer than 61-55 in the fourth quarter, as MSUM forced six Golden Eagle turnovers in the process of sealing the victory.
Turnovers were a problem for Minnesota Crookston all night long: it had 22, and the Dragons scored 20 points off of them. That erased the Golden Eagles' best shooting performance of the season by far: while UMC came in shooting just 24.6 percent, it hit 24 of 44 shots Friday, including nine of 15 from 3-point range.
By contrast, Minnesota State Moorhead shot just 49.3 percent, but had 23 more shot attempts than the Golden Eagles due to turnovers and a massive advantage on the offensive glass: the Dragons grabbed 14 to UMC's three.
Mertens had five rebounds and six steals in addition to her team-high scoring total, but committed six turnovers. Sophomore guard Emma Carpenter scored 11 points and dished out three assists. Junior guard Kylie Post scored eight points, while junior center Bren Fox, averaging 10 points and nine rebounds per game coming in, was held to just seven points and two boards.
McKeever, one of four Dragons in double figures, led her team in scoring with 18 points. Peyton Boom was close behind with 15 points and nine rebounds.
UP NEXT: UMC and MSUM rematch Saturday at 2:00 p.m.
Minnesota Crookston 16-15-21-15—67
Minnesota State Moorhead 16-16-29-16—77
MINNESOTA CROOKSTON STATS
- Points: Jes Mertens 17, Mary Burke 16, Emma Carpenter 11, Kylie Post 8, Bren Fox 7
- Rebounds: Jes Mertens 5, Mary Burke 5
- Assists: Emma Carpenter 3, Bren Fox 2
- Steals: Jes Mertens 6
MINNESOTA STATE MOORHEAD STATS
- Points: Mariah McKeever 18, Peyton Boom 15, Natalie Steichen 13, Nicole Brown 13
- Rebounds: Peyton Boom 9, Sarah Jacobson 6, Nicole Brown 5
- Assists: Sarah Jacobson 6, Natalie Steichen 3
- Steals: Natalie Steichen 3
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