SMSU WOMEN’S BASKETBALL: Baxter pours in career high; Mustangs roll past Peacocks

FAYETTE, Iowa- Erin Baxter had a career high 21 points while Caleigh Rodning poured in 18 points with seven rebounds for Southwest Minnesota State which snapped an eight-game losing skid with an 80-57 victory over Upper Iowa on Saturday evening in the Dorman Gymnasium.

For a third time in the last four games, Erin Baxter led SMSU in scoring and went 7 of 16 from the floor and 5 of 6 at the free throw line on her season best offensive night. Baxter also had three steals and four rebounds against the Peacocks.

Caleigh Rodning, who also had three of the Mustangs’ 12 team steals, went 6 of 10 shooting with seven rebounds and a team-leading five assists.

Coming off of a night in which the Mustangs failed to reach the free throw line, SMSU went 19 of 24 (79 percent) at the charity stripe and finished 43 percent (28 of 65) from the field as a team.

The Mustangs rebounded from a season-low point total in Friday night’s loss at Winona State with 44 points in the paint and a 24-7 advantage in fast break points against Upper Iowa.

SMSU kept its turnover numbers down for a second straight night and held a 34-9 advantage in points off of turnovers after forcing 21 Peacocks’ mishaps.

Southwest Minnesota State jumped out of the gates quickly as a 15-0 first quarter run put the Mustangs in control. Upper Iowa started the game just 2 of 9 from the field to start while SMSU went 9 of 18 overall and 4 of 8 from three point range in the opening quarter.

SMSU pushed its lead to 20 in the second quarter and scored the final three points off the half to carry a 42-22 lead into halftime.

SMSU came out with a 6-0 run to begin the second half and reached its largest lead of the game when back-to-back layups from Erin Baxter gave SMSU a 30-point advantage.

SMSU would later go on a 6-0 fourth quarter run to push its lead to 30 for a second time. The Mustangs had not previously led by 30 or more points in a win since 2013 and hadn’t reached that mark in a win over a conference opponent since 2010.

Southwest Minnesota State will follow up its largest win under Head Coach, Tom Webb, with a pair of home games against Minnesota Crookston and Bemidji State next weekend.

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