Victoria Larson / Winonan
Facing Bemidji State University and the University of Minnesota Crookston, the No. 10 Winona State University women’s basketball team tacked on more wins to its 19-2 overall record Friday and Saturday; with wins by scores of 65-56 and 96-72, respectively.
For the third straight game, the Warriors started off with quick baskets, scoring the first nine points of their contest against Bemidji State. The Warriors extended their lead at the end of the first quarter 23-9.
A quick 5-0 run from senior point guard Connor Nagle pushed the Warriors ahead 20 points but Bemidji State rallied and went on a 19-10 run to end the half, cutting the deficit to 11.
In the second half the Warriors went on a 10-3 run to build their lead 49-31, but an 8-0 response to end the third quarter by the Beavers cut the Warriors lead, 49-39.
A 6-0 run by the Warriors early in the fourth pushed their lead back to 14 to win 65-56.
Senior guard Alexis Foley led the Warriors with 22 points, four rebounds and four assists. Junior center Kayla Timmerman contributed 17 points and eight rebounds while sophomore forward Hannah McGlone poured in 10 points and grabbed nine rebounds.
“I think we prepared well,” Foley said. “We knew that Bemidji could put up points and that we had to step up our defense in order to win.”
The win also marked the 200th victory earned by Winona State head coach Scott Ballard. Ballard is the winningest coach in program history in his 12 years at the helm and has surpassed the 20-win mark for the third time in four years, sixth time overall.
Winona State then headed up to play Crookston on Saturday to face the Eagles. They had a 9-7 advantage before going on a 10-2 run with just over three minutes to play in the first quarter. Nagle hit four of her career-tying seven 3-pointers in the first quarter.
The Warriors outscored Crookston 26-14 in the second quarter to give them the lead 53-33 at halftime. Winona State shot 75 percent from the floor in the first half.
Junior Tara Roelofs scored 11 points in the third quarter as the Warriors cruised to a 96-72 win.
Nagle led the way with 21 points on 7-of-9 shooting from behind the arc, while also adding five assists. Foley chipped in 17 points and dished out a career-high 11 assists. Timmerman finished the game with 17 points and five rebounds while McGlone added 14 points and eight rebounds.
Foley credited her teammates for helping her set a career-high, and said the advantage is “being surrounded by amazing basketball players.”
Nagle said she was confident with her jump shot.
“I was feelin’ it so I kept letting them fly,” Nagle said. “It was one of those games where you feel like the hoop is 30 feet wide.”
Winona State (21-2, 14-2 NSIC) returns to McGown Gymnasium this weekend to host St. Cloud State and Minnesota Duluth.