SMSU WOMEN’S BASKETBALL: Mustangs overcome deficit to earn 70-62 win over Western Oregon
MONMOUTH, Ore. — The Southwest Minnesota State women’s basketball team rallied from a ten-point deficit in the third quarter to rise over Western Oregon for a 70-62 victory in the New PE Building on Saturday afternoon, to conclude a pair of games on the west coast.
SMSU (5-1, 0-1 NSIC) will return home with a 5-1 overall record with the two non-conference victories over the weekend, while Western Oregon will drop to 2-4 overall.
The Mustangs shot 40 percent from the field (19-of-28) and 43 percent from the three-point line (9-of-21), while the Wolves were restricted to 34 percent from the field (21-of-62) and 31 percent (5-of-16) from beyond the arc.
Meleah Reinhart lead the team with 24 points, going 10-of-11 from the free-throw line, and recorded two steals in the comeback. Caleigh Rodning was explosive bringing high-energy and 15 points to the victory going 2-of-2 from beyond the arc. Jenna Borchers also added 12 of her own while Abuk Akoi contributed 12 boards with three blocks.
The Mustangs restricted the Wolves to a single-digit first quarter to gain an early 17-9 lead. The Wolves responded in the second quarter to recorded 21 points to send into the second half with a three-point lead.
The Wolves opened the third quarter with a new intensity to extend the lead to a ten-point cushion with a little over five minutes remaining in the third. Reinhart and Rodning converted a layup each and a three-pointer from Rodning to trail by three points with 2:23 left on the clock.
WOU and SMSU each had chances at the line as WOU would use their one-hundred percent night from the free throw line (15-of-15) to hold on to a three-point line after the third.
Down just two points, Sam Wall shot a three-pointer, only to crash the boards to get her own rebound for a layup put-back to tie the game at 54-54 with just a little over five minutes left in the fourth. Walls’ momentum with a three-pointer from Borchers would help the Mustangs to cling in the game, down just one point.
WOU would give up the lead as Rodning would head to the line to put the Mustangs up 59-58 with 3:30 left in the game. The Wolves relinquished the power to the Mustangs as Reinhart would capitalize on the lead with a three-point play for a four-point lead.
Free-throws became crucial has the Mustangs had four chances late in the fourth to go one-hundred percent (4-of-4) to advance the lead and secure the victory.
WOU was led in scoring by Cali McClave who finished with 18 points.
Southwest Minnesota State will return to conference play with the first road weekend traveling to Minnesota State on Friday at 5:30 p.m. in the Taylor Center, before facing Concordia-St. Paul this Saturday at 3:30 pm., in the Gangelhoff Center.
— Content courtesy
of SMSU Athletic