Women's College Basketball: Pioneers 4th-quarter rally downs Raiders
Central Lakes College head coach Brian Voigt faced his team after Thursday night's 67-64 loss feeling their pain after scoring just six points in the fourth quarter and surrendering a 14-point lead to Northland, who came into the game undefeated ...
Central Lakes College head coach Brian Voigt faced his team after Thursday night's 67-64 loss feeling their pain after scoring just six points in the fourth quarter and surrendering a 14-point lead to Northland, who came into the game undefeated in Northern Division play and ranked No. 3 nationally.
"I told my team that we played well enough to have the lead (going to the fourth quarter)," Voigt said. "We lost a little of our aggressiveness on the defensive end at the end. We stopped what was working on offense, which was driving and kicking the ball out and that took us out of our game, and when you are playing a team like this, that is nationally ranked for a reason, we took ourselves out of it by slowing down a bit."
During the preseason, returning players told Voigt they were disappointed by the end of last season, which ended with an opening-round loss in the Region 13B tournament at Northland. Thursday night's loss was the second of the season to Northland, but may have been the Raiders best game.
Four of the five Raider starters finished in double figures. Paige Wallevand led the team with 15 points and Maggi Fellerman and Naomi Lane each tallied 11. Kelsie Weite finished with 10 and the Raiders scored 64 points against a Pioneer team that allows just 50 points a game.
"I thought this was one of the best games we have played," Voigt said. "It was one of our fewest turnover games. That's not because we weren't pressured by them because their defense was all over us with pressure, but we were mentally tough in keeping control of the ball. We did miss some shots that were there."
Central Lakes accumulated just 10 turnovers and they forced 17 Northland turnovers. In the first quarter, the Raiders built an 11-point lead. It grew to 12 points at halftime. Kelsie Weite was 2-2 from behind the arc and Fellerman, Kali Mammenga, Lillee Hardee, and Anderson all hit 3-pointers as the Raiders shot 60 percent from 3-point range in the first half.
CLC led 38-22 with less than a minute to go, but Northland's Carly Mekash got to the free throw line twice and converted all four shots to close the Raiders lead to 12 at the end of the first half.
In the third quarter, Hardee's second 3-pointer of the quarter gave the Raiders a 56-36 lead. Northland's Ashley Moe spurred a Pioneers' six-point run to pull Northland to a 14-point deficit.
The Pioneers' pressure defense limited the Raiders offensive looks in the fourth quarter. That allowed Northland to pull even with CLC at 62 with 1:10 remaining. A Brooke Heggie offensive putback gave the Pioneers their first lead at 64-62.
Trailing 67-64, the Raiders came out of a timeout with the ball in the frontcourt with six seconds left. CLC couldn't get off a quality shot and the Pioneers came away with the victory.
In the fourth quarter, the Raiders didn't attempt a free throw and shot 3-of-18 from the field. The Pioneers accumulated six fouls in the first half and just four in the second half.
"I like playing the top programs because you want to use how they perform in late game situations and how mentally tough they are," Voigt said. "You can use that they stayed within their game plan and they kept playing defense. It is very easy when you jump out to a lead to shut down and what it made Northland do was work harder and you want to be able to show your players that is what it takes to be one of the best teams."
With the loss, CLC stands at 5-4 and tied for the third in the standings. They have seven games remaining and the goals they stated at the start of the season to go farther than last year, still in their hands.
"Our sophomores are starting to become more vocal in what they want and the freshman are expressing what they want," Voigt said. "This game is going to hurt and we should let it knock us down a bit, but then we need to use that to come out and go after the rest of the games. If we keep playing this way the ball will fall our way."
For more photos, go to https://bit.ly/2Bg8WL5 .
Northland 11 15 18 23-67
Central Lakes 22 16 20 6-64
Ashley Moe 14, Janie Wunderlich 15, Jozi Halvorson 1, Carly Mekash 21, Brooke Heggie 14, Mya Hough 2. FG 21-59 (36 percent), FT 19-24 (79 percent). 3-point 6-26 (23 percent).
Kelsie Weite 10, Liz Anderson 3, Maggi Fellerman 11, Lindsay Hendrickson 2, Paige Wallevand 15, Naomi Lane 11, Kali Mammenga 3, Lillee Hardee 9. FG 26-72 (36 percent), FT 4-5 (80 percent). 3-point 8-20 (40 percent). Division: 5-4. Overall: 12-8. Next: hosts Lake Superior College 1 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 2.