The Golden Eagles fall to 9-6 (4-5 NSIC).
ABERDEEN, S.D. - Northern State University overcame an 11-point first quarter deficit as they upended the University of Minnesota Crookston 60-59. The Golden Eagles would be out-scored 34-20 in the second and third quarters as they made the Golden Eagles attempt to mount a late comeback. Minnesota Crookston was able to put on the pressure, but they would ultimately fall just one-point shy, despite a last second three-pointer.
The Golden Eagles fall to 9-6 (4-5 NSIC), while Northern State improves to 7-8 (4-5 NSIC). The two teams split the season series as Minnesota Crookston picked up the win in Crookston, Minn., Dec. 8.
Minnesota Crookston was paced by the outstanding play of Caitlin Michaelis (Sr., G, Marshfield, Wis.), who had 21 points on 7-of-9 from the field, and 5-of-6 from beyond the arc. Isieoma Odor (R-Sr., F/C, Bloomington, Minn.), the conference’s second-leading scorer coming into the night, was limited to just seven points, which was 11 points off her average. Odor added 12 rebounds. She needs 194 points to surpass her former teammate Alexa Thielman for fourth all-time in scoring. Odor is in need of 17 rebounds to surpass Laurie Tyson for second all-time in career boards. She needs 19 rebounds to move past her former teammate Katrina Nordick for the career rebounding record.
Paige Cornale (Fr., G, Oak Creek, Wis.) added seven points off the bench. Abby Guidinger (So., G/F, Waukesha, Wis.) chipped in six points, while Bren Fox (Fr., F/C, Norwood Young America, Minn.) added four points and six rebounds.
Minnesota Crookston shot 20-of-54 from the field for 37.0 percent. The Golden Eagles finished 10-of-20 for 50.0 percent from beyond the arc, and 9-of-13 for 69.2 percent from the stripe. Northern State controlled the glass with 43 rebounds to just 32 for the Golden Eagles. The Wolves had 13 offensive boards.
Northern State had four players score in double-figures. Brianna Kusler led the way with a double-double of 13 points and 16 rebounds. Lexi Wadsworth added 12 points and nine boards. Zoe Hardwick came off the bench for 11 points, while Anika Fredrick added 10 points.
The Wolves were 21-of-59 from the field for 35.6 percent. Northern State shot 3-of-6 from beyond the arc, and 15-of-18 from the foul line.
The Golden Eagles raced out to an 8-0 lead led by two treys from Michaelis. Minnesota Crookston extended their advantage out to 18-7 as Guidinger drained a triple late in the first quarter. The Golden Eagles went into the quarter break with an 18-9 advantage.
Minnesota Crookston opened the second quarter with a third three-pointer from Michaelis to extend the lead to 21-9. The Wolves cut the deficit to 21-15 with buckets from Hardwick and Wadsworth. Northern State continued their run as they pulled within 21-17 on an Alayna Johnson hoop.
Stephanie McWilliams (Jr., G, Grand Forks, N.D>) stopped the run as she hit a pair of free throws in the second quarter to move the lead to 23-17. Northern State countered with a Hardwick basket, and a Johnson free throw as they cut the lead down to 23-20. Kusler’s bucket brought the Wolves within 23-22. Guidinger came up in a major spot for the Golden Eagles as she hit a trey to move the Minnesota Crookston lead to 26-22. Fredrick responded with an old-fashioned three-point play to bring the Wolves within 26-25. The Golden Eagles held on to the one-point advantage going into the locker room.
Fredrick opened the third quarter with a basket to put Northern State ahead 27-26 early in the second half. The Wolves were able to move their lead out to 31-26 as Hardwick hit a jumper. Minnesota Crookston pulled within 31-28 on a pair of Cornale free throws. Northern State responded as they extended their lead out 35-28 following a pair of Kusler free throws.
The Golden Eagles countered as Ashley Freund (So., G/F, Jordan, Minn.) and Michaelis both hit three-pointers to slice the lead down to 37-34. Northern State fought off the charge for the moment as Kusler hit a jumper to push the advantage out to 39-34. The Wolves extended their lead to 41-34 after Johnson hit a pair of free throws.
Minnesota Crookston utilized jumpers from Michaelis and Odor to close to within 41-38 with 2:31 remaining in the third quarter. Northern State fought off the charge with a Johnson bucket to extend the advantage out to 43-38 going into the quarter break.
The Wolves out-scored the Golden Eagles 34-20 in the second and third quarters.
Northern State moved their lead out to 50-41 early in the fourth quarter following a Wadsworth jumper. Minnesota Crookston utilized a Kylie Post (Fr., G, Corcoran, Minn.) bucket, and yet another Michaelis triple to pull within 50-46 with 6:56 left in the game.
The Wolves countered as Fredrick sank a trey to put the Wolves ahead 53-46. The Golden Eagles would not give in though as Cornale hit a pair of free throws, along with a Michaelis old-fashioned three-point play to bring Minnesota Crookston within 53-51 with 3:51 left on the clock. Joie Spier connected on a three-pointer for Northern State to widen the gap to 56-51.
The Golden Eagles were able to make a late charge as McWilliams trimmed the deficit to 56-54 with 34 seconds remaining. Minnesota Crookston was forced to foul on the ensuing possession, sending Kusler to the line, where she hit 1-of-2 to move the score to 57-54.
Post would connect on a quick lay-up to pull the Golden Eagles within 57-56. Again forced to foul, Kushle went to the line and again hit 1-of-2 to move the lead to 58-56 with 16 seconds, however she grabbed the offensive board on her miss, forcing another foul. This time Kusler hit both to extend the lead to 60-56. Cornale hit a three-pointer at the buzzer for Minnesota Crookston to pull the Golden Eagles within one at 60-59, but they would fall just short.
Minnesota Crookston returns to action against Minnesota State University Moorhead at Nemzek Fieldhouse in Moorhead, Minn. Sat., Jan. 12 at 3:30 p.m.