BY BREANN LENZMEIER
Riding a six game-winning streak, the MSUM women’s basketball team came into the final home stand riding the momentum of defeating then No. 8 team in Division II in Wayne State away from their home court.
In Friday’s game the Dragons were looking to push the streak to seven hosting Minot State. The Dragons were ahead early in the first half, but the Beavers went on an 11-4 run and didn’t look back, going into halftime with a 35-28 lead.
Megan Strese led the team with 14 points and seven rebounds in the game. Meghan Roehrich and Morgan Zabel each had nine.
The Dragons fell 79-56 to the Beavers, dropped to 16-9 on the season and 12-9 in Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference action.
“The first thing that happened tonight was that defensively we were very poor. We didn’t communicate. We looked flat,” head coach Karla Nelson said.
Returning to the court on Saturday and still looking to host a playoff game, MSUM took on the University of Mary (N.D.), hoping to finish their home season with a win.
The Marauders edged the Dragons earlier this season, getting a last second shot to victory.
Having to battle back throughout the whole game, the Dragons looked to their three seniors; Haley Thomforde, Megan Strese and Morgan Zabel, to lead them to a victory in the team’s final regular season home game.
The Dragons were cutting away at the Marauders’ lead late in the first half, but a three-pointer as time expired in the first half by Brittney Dietz for the Marauders gave them momentum, and they continued their strong shooting throughout the second half.
The Dragons couldn’t get closer than 10 points to the Marauders in the second half, and the Marauders came away with the 78-62 victory, dropping MSUM to 16-10 on the season.
Losing both games, the Dragons fell to the fifth seed and will open their postseason on the road against Augustana, a team they defeated by two in Sioux Falls earlier this year.
Nelson said the team will have to play a lot better to get the win in Sioux Falls.
With the three seniors playing their last game on the home court, Nelson had nothing but positive things to say about the impact they have made on the MSUM women’s basketball program.
“They have spent a lot of time dedicating themselves to the program, and they will represent MSUM the best way possible, and that is being great professionals,” she said.
MSUM travels to Sioux Falls to face Augustana at 7 p.m. on Wednesday in the opening round of the NSIC/Sanford Conference Health Tournament.
“We have to leave everything on the floor,” senior forward Morgan Zabel said.