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MSU Moorhead Women Hold Off Wayne State

Posted: 10 February, 2013

WAYNE - MSU Moorhead’s Morgan Zabel scored a team-high 18 points, including the final eight points in the remaining 1:48, to lead the Dragons in a 67-62 win over Wayne State in Northern Sun Conference women’s basketball played Saturday evening at Alex Nemzek Hall in Moorhead, Minnesota.  MSUM is now 14-8 overall and 11-7 in the NSIC while the Wildcats fall to 14-8 and 10-8 in league play.
The game was close early with three ties between the two clubs, but MSU Moorhead used a pair of short scoring sprees midway through the first half and toward the end of the half to take a 35-24 lead at halftime.  The Wildcats held several leads of three points with the final one coming at 12-9 following an Ellen Hansen 3-pointer with 11:06 to go before halftime. 

The host Dragons then scored the next seven points and held the lead for the remainder of the half.  A 7-0 run by MSU Moorhead in a span of 1:55 gave the Dragons a 16-12 lead with 9:11 left in the half.  The Dragons increased their lead to eight at 24-16 with 6:45 to go, but WSC used baskets by Addy Roller and Jordan Spencer to pull within four at 24-20.  MSU Moorhead then scored the next seven points and took their first double figure lead of the game at 31-20 and led 35-24 at halftime.

WSC finished the first half making just 10 of 31 shots from the field (32.3%) and just 1 of 9 from three point range. 
The Wildcats came out strong to start the second half with a 12-3 run that pulled WSC within two at 38-36 following an Addy Roller 3-pointer with 16:49 left in the game.  Moments later, the Wildcats got within two again at 45-43 on an Ellen Hansen trey at the 14:16 mark giving her 10 points in the opening 5:44 of the first half. 

MSU Moorhead pushed the lead to seven at 50-43, but WSC chipped away at the lead again and closed within one point at 53-52 on a Jordan Spencer layup with 6:58 to go. But again, the Wildcats could not get the go-ahead basket as the Dragons went up by seven again at 61-54 on a Morgan Zabel layup with 1:48 remaining.

WSC made one more run at the Dragons, trimming the MSUM lead to three at 65-62 on a Roller trey with 22 seconds to play.  But WSC had to foul and Zabel drained two free throws with 12 seconds left to cap six straight free throws made in the final 1:01 for the Dragons as MSU Moorhead hung on for the 67-62 win over Wayne State.
Ellen Hansen led Wayne State in scoring with 21 points with 18 coming in the second half.  Sophomore forward Jordan Spencer also reached double digits with 17 points.

WSC was 23 for 59 shooting for 39 percent, going 5 of 19 from three point range.  The ‘Cats were 11 for 17 at the free throw line.

MSU Moorhead’s top scorer was Morgan Zabel off the bench with 18 points, scoring her teams’ final eight points in the last 1:48.  Megan Strese added 15 points with Marisa Yernatich scoring 12.  The Dragons made 24 of 52 shots from the field for 46.2 percent including 5 of 11 from the three point line and 14 for 18 at the charity stripe.
The Dragons out-rebounded Wayne State 38-32 thanks to 10 rebounds from Strese and nine by Zabel while Hansen grabbed six caroms to lead the Wildcats.  WSC had 13 turnovers in the game while forcing MSU Moorhead into 16 mistakes.  The MSU Moorhead bench had 26 points to just four by the Wildcats.

Ashton Yossi and Addy Roller each handed out five assists for WSC while Roller had four steals.   
The Wildcats will be on the road again next weekend, visiting Southwest Minnesota State Friday evening at 6 p.m. and the University of Sioux Falls Saturday afternoon at 4 p.m.

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