The Free Press, Mankato, MN


February 9, 2014

Defense key to Mavs win

MANKATO — Minnesota State forced 22 turnovers and held Sioux Falls to 27 percent shooting to finish the regular-season home schedule with a 79-52 win Saturday night at Bresnan Arena.

Sioux Falls, a high-percentage shooting team from outside, connected on just 8 of 27 3-pointers as MSU’s aggressive defense forced the Cougars off their game to bring their record to 17-5, 14-4 in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference.

“We worked a lot on defending the 3-point line and knew that was their strength coming into this game, and we did a good job of contesting, communicating, finding shooters and really forcing them to do something else,” said MSU coach Emilee Thiesse, who also believes MSU’s positive turnover margin is a continuing effort heading into the final push of the season.

“That’s just kind of been the team we are, and that’s been a huge positive for us the past three weekends,” she said. “We’ve really bought into our defensive scheme and started forcing more turnovers.”

Sioux Falls’ Laura Johnson and Taylor Varsho, the fourth and fifth best 3-point shooters in the Northern Sun, combined to go 5 of 15 from downtown, something senior Karlee Gengenbacher also attributes to the pressure defense.

“We had to get out and pressure and push them out even further than the 3-point line,” Gengenbacher said. “That pressure makes them do things they are not comfortable with, and I think that also helps turn the ball over.”

MSU’s offense was not its sharpest, as the Mavericks finished each half at a 12 of 34 clip to close at 35 percent. Thiesse understands her team struggled from the field but said the team doesn’t alter it’s game when the shots don’t fall.

“It doesn’t really change for us,” she said. “We’ve been talking about getting more points in the paint and being a more aggressive team, and when the shots aren’t falling, that’s just more of a reason to get points in the paint and get more aggressive.”

Text Only | Photo Reprints

Latest auto racing news
Featured Ads
Live Moondogs coverage
Shane Frederick's Twitter updates
Chad Courrier's Sports Report
Latest NCAA basketball news
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
NDN Video
3 Questions with Gary Payton: Kevin Love, Andrew Wiggins and Derrick Rose Players Only: Marcus Mariota's Course Load at Oregon How We Almost Got Johnny Cowboy Donald Sterling Loses The Clippers For Good - @TheBuzzeronFox Franklin talks leaving Vandy Staten Island Man's Emotional Dunk Over NYPD Car - @TheBuzzeronFOX Michael Jordan OK With LeBron James Wearing No. 23? - @TheBuzzeronFox The Cornhuskers have gone...Loco? Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Byron Scott Reportedly New Head Coach Of Los Angeles Lakers - @TheBuzzeronFox SportsNite: Botched play Gruden: Full-speed practices key for fundamentals Italy's Nibali Set to Win First Tour De France College Football Playoff Prognosis: Notre Dame Fighting Irish College Football Playoff Prognosis: Nebraska Cornhuskers Jake Peavy traded from Red Sox to Giants Browns wants Johnny Football to buckle down How Losing Joe Bergeron Affects Texas What will Pierzynski bring to St. Louis? Cristiano Ronaldo -- TEAMING UP WITH LIL WAYNE ... Rapper Starting Sports Management Biz