WOMEN’S BASKETBALL: Upper Iowa gets overtime win over Mustangs

MARSHALL – Coming off a dramatic win over Winona State on Friday, Southwest Minnesota State fell 78-71 in overtime to Upper Iowa Saturday night.

While the Mustangs are starting to show a flare for the dramatic, the ball didn’t roll their way in crunch time against the Peacocks.

Senior guard Bree Holleman had a chance to put the game on ice in the final two seconds of the game as she earned a trip to the free-throw line following a steal by senior forward Hannah Beeler.

Holleman missed both allowing the game to go into overtime, where Upper Iowa outscored the Mustangs 14-7 and snapped their six-game losing streak.

The stroke of luck for the Peacocks seemed to swing the momentum their way for the overtime period as they quickly converted on a three-point play to start extra time.

“Bree Holleman is a good player in this league,” Upper Iowa coach Carol Russell said. “I didn’t think she’d miss both, so for that to happen, I thought things were going our way a little bit. I felt we could take advantage of that in overtime.”

While the missed free throws may have been key, that wasn’t the Mustangs primary undoing.

“Defensively, we didn’t stick to our gameplan and didn’t make adjustments,” Mustangs coach Allison Kruger said. “We have to do a better job of that. Defensively, we weren’t very good tonight.”

Upper Iowa (5-11, 4-8 NSIC) junior guard Whitney Kieffer found success dribbling into the paint and ended the night with a game-high 23 points. Lauren Buck and Sam Thrapp were also key contributors for the Peacocks with 17 and 16 points respectively.

The fact that Kieffer was able to penetrate into the paint went back to the defensive game plan that Kruger had laid out.

“It was just to compete on her and takeaway the drive,” Kruger said. “We didn’t do that very well. We gave her way too many opportunities by not defending her the way we talked about.”

The Peacocks also made a difference from the three-point line, shooting 6-12 from behind the arc while SMSU (3-13, 1-11 NSIC) shot 2-10 from three point range.

Even in defeat, the Mustangs produced strong numbers offensively.

Senior forward Alison Nagel scored a team-high 20 points and five rebounds while senior forward Ellen Degler, senior guard Rebekah Rolling and Holleman put in 12, 10 and 10 respectively.

Senior guard Mikayla Saathoff finished with a respectable seven assists on the night, part of a season-high 23 total assist performance for the SMSU.

The Mustangs take on Wayne State at home in their next contest. The Wildcats come in with a 17-2 record and are 10-2 in conference play.


UPPER IOWA (5-11 OVERALL, 4-8 NSIC SOUTH): Lindsay Carroll 2-6 2-2 6, Emily Gustafson 1-3 2-2 4, Whitney Kieffer 8-15 5-5 23 , Sam Thrapp 5-11 4-4 16, Olivia Winkler 0-0 0-1 0 , Laura TerHark 1-2 0-1 3, Olivia Meier 0-1 0-0 0, Courtney Major 0-0 0-0 0, Lauren Buck 4-5 0-0 9, Carly Pagel 5-11 7-9 17. TOTALS: 26-54 (48%) 20-24 (83%) 78.

SOUTHWEST MINNESOTA STATE (3-13 OVERALL, 1-11 NSIC SOUTH): Mikayla Saathoff 2-6 1-2 5, Bree Holleman 4-8 1-3 10, Jessie Watts 1-1 0-0 2 , Rebekah Rolling 4-14 1-1 10 , Ellen Degler 4-6 4-4 12, Hannah Beeler 4-5 0-0 8, Whitney Miller 0-1 0-0 0, Annessa Rosch 0-2 0-0 0, Emilee Duske 2-4 0-0 4, Alison Nagel 8-17 4-6 20 . TOTALS: 29-64 (45%) 11-16 (69%) 71.

HALFTIME: SMSU 32, Upper Iowa 28. REGULATION: SMSU 64, Upper Iowa 64. 3-POINT FIELD GOALS: Upper Iowa 6-12 (Carroll 0-2, Kieffer 2-4, Thrapp 2-3, TerHark 1-2, Buck 1-1); SMSU 2-10 (). REBOUNDS: Upper Iowa 37 (Kieffer 9); SMSU 31 (TEAM 6, Nagel 5, Duske 5). TOTAL FOULS (FOULED OUT): Upper Iowa 15 (Gustafson); SMSU 24 (Degler). TECHNICAL FOULS: None. ASSISTS: Upper Iowa 12 (Thrapp 4); SMSU 23 (Saathoff 7). STEALS: Upper Iowa 9 (Gustafson 3); SMSU 8 (Rolling 2, Beeler 2). BLOCKED SHOTS: Upper Iowa 2 (Gustafson 1, Major 1); SMSU 2 (Rolling 1, Beeler 1). TURNOVERS: Upper Iowa 19; SMSU 13.