SMSU Women’s Basketball: SCSU deadly from deep in win over SMSU

SMSU forward Lauren Hedlund (35) drives to the basket with the ball during the Mustangs’ game against St. Cloud State on Saturday night.

MARSHALL – The Southwest Minnesota State Mustangs kept it close for most of the game, but with the help of 15 made 3-pointers, the St. Cloud State University Huskies pulled away at the end to earn a 90-77 victory on Saturday.

The Huskies were 15 of 27 from behind the arc, and got six from guard Mallie Doucette, who went 4 of 4 from 3-point land in the second half.

SMSU coach Tom Webb said they knew they had to adjust to SCSU’s range, but felt there’s only so much they could do when their shooters were on a hot streak.

“They got a lot (of 3-point baskets) in transition, and we were just getting back, protecting the hoop and trying to get wide,” said Webb. “They’re good players. They shot really well, and there was nothing we could do to be honest. There were just a couple that we missed, and other than that, there’s nothing you can do.”

SMSU got out to an early 7-3 lead, but SCSU kept battling and held a 21-20 lead at the end of the first quarter.

The Huskies started out the second quarter strong as they went on a 10-2 run to take a 31-22 lead. SMSU pulled within one at 31-30 before the Huskies went on a 12-3 run and led 43-33 at halftime.

SMSU came out of the break firing on all cylinders and pulled within two at 59-57 going into the final quarter. However, SCSU made six 3-pointers in the final quarter to help put the game out of reach.

Webb was happy with how the Mustangs played, but feels that they need to play a complete game to get back in the win column.

“I think they’re starting to understand that they can play, and now they just have to play 40 minutes,” said Webb. That’s something we talked about in the postgame. You have to play 40 minutes, you have to bring energy. If you do that, you’re going to have a shot any night. Now there’s no moral victories anymore. We’ve got to play.”

SMSU was led by Lauren Hedlund, who had a career-high 27 points to go along with a team-high nine rebounds. Sarah Buysse and Caleigh Rodning each scored 12 points while Rodning pulled down eight rebounds. Taylor Silva led the team with four assists.

The Mustangs (1-8, 1-4 NSIC) will play next on Saturday on the road against Sioux Falls (8-1, 4-1 NSIC). SMSU lost to USF 75-40 earlier this season.

Webb feels that scoring in the paint and defending the 3-point line will be keys in the game.

“We’ve got to be able to score inside and we’ve got to be able to guard the arc,” said Webb. “They don’t play as fast as St. Cloud, but they’re maybe a little more disciplined in certain ways. We’ve got to make sure that we’re disciplined also.”

SCSU  21   22   16   31  –  90

SMSU 20   13   24   20  –  77

SOUTHWEST MINNESOTA STATE (1-8, 1-4 NSIC) Hedlund 9-13 9-11 27; S. Buysse 3-8 5-6 12; Rodning 6-9 0-0 12; Holicky 3-9 3-6 9; Connell 2-5 0-0 6; Spicer 2-3 0-2 6; E. Buysse 1-2 0-0 3; Silva 0-2 2-2 2; Bohler, Laurie 0-1 0-0 0. Totals: 26-52, 19-27, 77.

3-point goals: SMSU 6-14 (Connell, 2-5; Spicer 2-3; E. Buysse 1-2; S. Buysse 1-2; Bohler 0-1; Silva 0-1).

Rebounds: SMSU 34 (Hedlund 9, Rodning 8).

Assists: SMSU18 (Silva 4, Spicer 3, S. Buysse 3).

Steals: SMSU 4 (four tied with one).

Blocks: SMSU 1 (Rodning 1).

Total fouls: SMSU 12 (No foul out).

Turnovers: 20.