WOMEN’S BASKETBALL: Mustangs outlast Warriors for win

MARSHALL – Southwest Minnesota State snapped an 18-game Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference losing skid with a 65-61 victory over Winona State on Friday Night.

The win also snapped the Mustangs’ overall losing streak of 12, dating back to Nov. 15, 2013.

“I couldn’t be more happy for our players I think that the biggest thing, it’s a big weight off their shoulders and they deserve this,” Southwest Minnesota State head coach Allison Kruger said. “The way they played last weekend, they just couldn’t come away with a win on the road (at St. Cloud State and at Minnesota-Duluth), but they kept battling and competed hard and that is ultimately what we have been focusing on.”

With 1:29 left, Ellen Degler’s two free throws to hand the Mustangs a 62-59 lead. Abby Busch answered with a pair of free throws 14 seconds later as WSU trimmed its deficit to 62-61.

As 63 seconds remained, Mikayla Saathoff drained a jumper to put SMSU ahead 64-61. On the Warriors’ ensuing possession, Kate Hartman missed a long 3-pointer with six seconds left that would have tied the game.

Degler came down with the rebound and was immediately fouled before she sealed the Mustangs’ first conference victory of the season by making 1 of 2 free throws.

SMSU improved to 3-12 overall, 1-10 in the NSIC South Division. Winona State fell to 8-7, 4-7 league play.

Degler led the Mustangs with 15 points on 5 of 11 shooting, while Rebekah Rolling and Annessa Rosch chipped in 11 points apiece. Bree Holleman and Alison Nagel, SMSU’s leading scorers on the season, combined for just 10 points.

The Mustangs finished the game by shooting 23 of 51 (45 percent), including a season-high 75 percent from behind the arc (6 of 8). The six 3-pointers, which were all made in the first half, were the most SMSU has made in a game since an 80-61 loss to No. 10 Augustana on Dec. 6, 2013.

“I will take any win at this point just because we need something to fuel our fire,”Kruger said. “We need to realize that they are a good team and that they can compete with teams we just have to keep playing hard.”

The Mustangs, who entered the game ranked 15th in the NSIC with a shooting percentage of 29 percent from 3-point range, went 6 of 6 from behind the arc in the first half. Rosch had a trio of 3-pointers in the first 20 minutes.

Holleman and Nagel combined for an 0 of 2 effort from the field in the first half with no points.

The Warriors built their largest lead of the game (11 points) with 9:51 remaining in the half, led by Abby Busch, who scored 13 first-half points.

SMSU took its first lead of the game with 2:47 remaining when the Mustangs went on a 14-3 run to push the score to 32-30. The teams were tied at 36 at the break.

Busch finished with a game-high 21 points in the losing effort.

The win marks SMSU’s second straight victory over Winona State at the R/A Facility. The Mustangs defeated the Warriors last year 66-64 on Hawaiian Night.

SMSU seeks to keep its momentum rolling today versus Upper Iowa. Tip-off is set for 5 p.m. at the R/A facility.


WINONA STATE (8-7 OVERALL, 4-7 NSIC): Tara Roelofs 4-6 0-0 11, Kelsey Andrist 2-6 2-2 6, Connor Nagle 2-6 0-0 6, Abby Busch 7-19 6-7 21, Caitie Zepczyk 1-3 0-0 2

Emily Passint 2-4 0-0 5, Kate Hartman 4-8 2-2 10. TOTALS: 22-52 (42%) 10-11 (91%) 61.

SOUTHWEST MINNESOTA STATE (3-12 OVERALL, 1-10 NSIC): Mikayla Saathoff 3-6 2-2 9, Bree Holleman 2-6 1-2 5, Jessie Watts 1-3 0-0 2, Rebekah Rolling 4-10 2-2 11, Ellen Degler 5-11 5-6 15, Hannah Beeler 0-2 2-2 2, Whitney Miller 1-1 0-0 3, Annessa Rosch 4-4 0-2 11, Emilee Duske 1-4 0-0 2, Alison Nagel 2-4 1-2 5. TOTALS: 23-51 (45%) 13-16 (81%) 65.

HALFTIME: Southwest Minnesota State 36, Winona State 36. 3-POINT FIELD GOALS: Winona State 7-25 (Roelofs 3-4, Nagle 2-6, Busch 1-5, Passint 1-3); Southwest Minnesota State 6-8 (Saathoff 1-1, Rolling 1-2, Miller 1-1, Rosch 3-3). REBOUNDS: Winona State 27 (Busch 7, Zepczyk 6); Southwest Minnesota State 31 (Holleman 5, Degler 4, Watts 4). TOTAL FOULS (FOULED OUT): Winona State 16 (none); Southwest Minnesota State 12 (none). TECHNICAL FOULS: None. ASSISTS: Winona State 11 (Busch 5); Southwest Minnesota State 16 (Saatjpff 4, Holleman 4). STEALS: Winona State 5; Southwest Minnesota State 5 (Holleman 2, Degler 2). BLOCKED SHOTS: Winona State 7 (Roelofs 2, Busch 2, Hartman 2); Southwest Minnesota State 2 (Nagel 2). TURNOVERS: Winona State 11; Southwest Minnesota State 11.