The Free Press, Mankato, MN


February 9, 2014

Defense key to Mavs win


Though the team struggled offensively, the Mavericks shot 89 percent from the free-throw line, connecting on the first 16 before missing midway through the second half.

“We’ve been talking a lot about getting that margin up and converting on those free throws,” Thiesse said. “Especially in the second half, I was really proud that we could get more players involved while also drawing contact and finishing at the line.”

Gengenbacher led all MSU scorers with 21 points, going eight of 14 from the field, and adding seven rebounds. Senior Alli Hoefer also tallied 11 points while freshman Sammie Delzotto also contributed 11 off the bench.

Alli Wilkinson, the Northern Sun’s second-highest scorer, finished with 12 points after connecting on her first field goal midway through the second half. The senior scored 10 from the stripe as she and three other seniors won their final home game of the regular season.

“It’s fun to come out knowing it’s your last game and just fighting knowing that it’s your last game here,” said Hoefer, who forced the bulk of the Sioux Falls turnovers. “I really just wanted to play with a lot of heart tonight.”

“That’s always really important, to walk off the court knowing our team is where they need to be as a team and especially for our seniors,” Thiesse said. “This is a night they will remember when they think back to their senior year.”

The Mavericks head north next weekend, taking on Bemidji State on Friday and Minnesota-Crookston on Saturday.

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