The MSUM women’s basketball team took on the University of Sioux Falls (S.D.) Cougars in Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference women’s basketball last Friday.
The Dragons claimed a 73-65 victory over the Cougars and Kaycee Charette was a big reason for the victory. The senior put up a season-high 20 points and grabbed seven rebounds as she shot 78 percent from the field.
“Last month she has been playing with good energy and effort, it just really hasn’t shown in the box score,” Dragons head coach Karla Nelson said.
After even play in the first 15 minutes, Haley Thomforde drained a momentum changing 3-pointer with five minutes remaining in the half. MSUM went on a 17-1 scoring frenzy, with no Cougar answer, giving the Dragons a 34-26 lead at the half.
“We played with a lot of energy first half” said Nelson, “we moved better offensively and defended better.”
Sioux Falls closed the gap to only four points early in the second half, but that’s as close as they would get to a lead. Thomforde was consistent throughout the game with an impressive stat line of nine points, eight rebounds, eight assists and three steals. But it was Charette’s ten points per half that sealed the game for MSUM.
“You battle your opponent and you battle yourself,” Nelson continued, “(the victory) was really important. It gives you confidence.”
The victory snapped a three game losing streak for the Dragons, who sit near the middle of the NSIC with a 6-6 conference record and 9-7 overall.
The Dragons continued strong play on the last night of their three-game home stand with a 72-62 defeat against the Southwest Minnesota State University Mustangs.
Charette picked up where she left off, opening the night with a 3-pointer from Marisa Yernatich. The Dragons lead by as much as 10 points in the first half, but went to the locker room with a five-point lead at the half. Early in the second half, the Mustangs pulled within two points, threatening MSUM’s lead. But a 7-0 run sparked by a Morgan Zabel layup gave the Dragons the momentum they needed to close out the game, winning 72-62.
The Dragons shot 41.7 percent from the field and out rebounded the Mustangs 45 to 32. Thomforde and Zabel paced MSUM with 15 points apiece while Charette added 13. Junior Megan Strese led with 13 rebounds.
The Dragons start a four-game road trip this weekend, facing off with Bemidji State (Minn.) on Jan. 25 and the University of Minnesota, Crookston on Jan. 26.
BY MADALYN LASKE & MEREDITH WATHNE