PHOTO COURTESY OF WAYNE STATE SPORTS INFORMATION
The team went into the next game hoping to keep that winning streak. However, that train derailed as they were beat by both Moorhead and Northern State the following weekend.
But there was still a chance to end the season on a high note as they had four more games to play in the coming week or two. In their home game against the Iowa State Peacock’s, SMSU brought that mindset and won 90-46. SMSU was making 50 percent of their shots from the field and another 50 percent from beyond the arc. Sarah Buysse, Abuk Akoi, and Rodning were on fire as they all scored double digits throughout the game.
Rodning scored her 1,000 point in her career, becoming the 20SMSU Woman’s Basketball player to score 1,000 points in a career, which is quite a feat.
Even though that game against the Peacocks was a turn of the tide and an overall momentum shifter, it did not lead to more wins for the team. Immediately after their big win over the Peacocks, they took three big back-to-back losses to Winona State, Wayne State, and Augustana.
During that last regular season game, Augustana was able to keep the edge over them for most of the first quarter. SMSU tried to claw their way to the lead with the score at 28-24 with under one-minute left before Borchers clutched a three pointer, making the score 28-27 at the end of the first quarter.
SMSU stayed within one point for most of the second quarter, with both teams battling for domination. With 3:14 to go in the second quarter, Emily Buysse won the battle taking a 43-42 lead. However, Augie responded with a flawless 8-0 run to end the second quarter with a 50-43 lead.
In the third quarter, Augustana and SMSU were both on a hot streak, hitting 23 points each. After both teams scored threes and made huge plays, Augustana came out ahead late in the fourth to secure the victory. It was yet another hard loss for the team and spelled the end of the regular season.
They ended 12-15 overall and 9-13 in the NSIC. SMSU traveled Wed. for the first round of the NSIC tournament as they faced Minnesota Duluth. The winner of that game will take on the winner of Augustana and Northern State University in March.
The SMSU Women’s team seemed to have finally caught their stride nearing Hawaiian night, as they beat Upper Iowa, Minnesota Crookston, and lastly Bemidji State on Hawaiian Night.
This game marked their first sweep in the season as the Mustangs took full control of the game with the charge being led by Meleah Reinhart with 18 points total. Caleigh Rodning added 16, Erin Baxter added 13, and Jenna Borchers added 11. The women were having a field night as they beat the Beavers in dominating fashion 72-51.
The team was shooting 44 percent from the field and 35 percent beyond the arc. They gained the first of many leads of the game with a three pointer from Stelter, putting SMSU in the lead going 19-16 with two minutes to go in the very first quarter.
BSU answered back with a scoring assault, scoring 14 points in a row during the second quarter to bring the game to a one point difference in the final minute. SMSU stayed strong and held down the lead at the end of the first half when Stelter and Teske laid it up, closing the first half 30-27 with the Mustangs up.
Returning from half time, SMSU extended their lead at the start of the third quarter. Also, SMSU went four for four from the three point line in the third quarter; a perfect run for them as they secured their first weekend homestand sweep of the season.