Women's College Basketball: Northland knocks off Raiders
There were numerous excuses the Central Lakes College Raiders could have used for not showing up for Saturday's game with national power Northland. No. 1, would be tired legs as they were on the second of back-to-back games after a win over Itasc...
There were numerous excuses the Central Lakes College Raiders could have used for not showing up for Saturday's game with national power Northland.
No. 1, would be tired legs as they were on the second of back-to-back games after a win over Itasca Friday.
No. 2, the Pioneers are the defending NJCAA Division III national champs and entered the game with a No. 1 ranking and a 21-2 record, including 11-0 in Northern Division play.
No. 3, would be past history as the Pioneers handed the Raiders a 79-53 defeat in Thief River Falls Jan. 28.
Faced with these reasons, the Raiders showed up anyway and held the Pioneers to their second lowest scoring day of the season. Northland still managed to beat CLC 58-48 to remain undefeated in division play.
Kelly Pearson led all scorers with 19 points. Bethany Cressman finished with 12 points.
"For a team that is averaging over 70 points a game, one of our goals today was to keep them under 60," said Raiders head coach Cassie Carey. "Last night, they scored 105 and they are beating teams in our league by 30 plus points. For it to be a 10 point game today I felt alright about that. The thing that stinks is when it is right at your fingertips. We had a couple of breakdowns today, but we controlled the tempo of the game."
The Pioneers won the rebound battle 36-27 and the turnover battle at 19-10, and outscored the Raiders 28-8 in points off of turnovers.
CLC limited the Pioneers sharp shooting trio of Tori Mekash, Cheyenne Woods and Allyson Dahl to just 4-19 shooting from behind the arc.
"I told the team to concentrate on the defensive end and we will let the transition and other parts of the game take care of themselves," said Carey. "We were right there in that game against one of the best teams in the nation. I have to give my girls a lot of credit."
The Raiders trailed by one point late in the first half until the Pioneers went on a five-point run to lead 34-28 at halftime.
Slow second half starts have been a downfall for the Raiders and it happened again as Northland went up 46-37 with 11:55 remaining. CLC pulled to 46-42 after a Pearson 3-pointer at the 10:18 mark.
A Jenny Skoog 3 made it 50-45 in favor of Northland. That would be the last Raider field goal. CLC managed just three more free throws for its final score.
"In the beginning of the game, we were fresh and hitting shots and you could feel the momentum of our offense the way we were moving," said Carey. "But when you are going against a group that has those extra members that are more fresh, it makes a huge difference."
Northland 34 24 - 58
Central Lakes 28 20 - 48
Mackenzie Holst 8, Kelly Pearson 19, Jenny Skoog 9, Bethany Cressman 12. FG 18-46 (39 percent), FT 7-9 (77 percent). 3-point 5-17 (29 percent). Division: 4-8. Overall: 6-17. Next: vs. Fond du Lac at Cloquet, 6 p.m. Wednesday.
Shammara Christian 4, Crystal Amundson 8, Tori Mekash 17, Cheyenne Woods 6, Haley Gehrtz 14, Allyson Dahl 9. FG 21-60 (35 percent), FT 12-16 (75 percent). 3-point 4-9 (21 percent). Division 12-0. Overall 22-2.