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Skylights split opening games

 


For everything that went right on Friday for the Montana State University-Northern women's basketball team, another thing went wrong on Saturday.

The Skylights played a nearly flawless floor game on Friday with a 71-50 win over Jamestown College in the opening game of the Minot State Invitational basketball tournament.

Northern used an aggressive full-court pressure defense and minimized turnovers to pick up its third win of the season.

The Skylights forced Jamestown into 19 turnovers while committing just 10 themselves and shot a solid 49 percent from the field.

"We came out with our full-court pressure and jumped on them early," said head coach Mike Erickson. "It led to some easy baskets for us."

Northern got plenty of good looks throughout the night. Its offensive execution was solid as evidenced by 15 assists on the night.

"We got a lot of open looks and we converted," Erickson said. "Jamestown was scrappy and came back in the second half. But we did a good job down the stretch."

The Skylights got a strong individual effort from Jessi Reome off the bench. The true freshman scored on 18 points on 7-10 shooting, including a 4-4 performance from 3-point range.

Megan Valgardson also had a good night scoring 16 points and grabbing six rebounds, while Brett Vermandel added 11 points and eight rebounds.

Saturday night was a different story for the Skylights. Against the host Minot State Beavers, the Skylights suffered through a horrible shooting night to lose 75-56.

"It was like night and day compared to the first game," Erickson said. "Offensively, we couldn't get anything going."

Northern shot a frigid 30 percent from the field, but still had opportunities in the game. The Skylights cut the lead to 45-44 with 9:45 remaining in the game on a Reome jumper. But Minot answered with a 3-pointer that spurred a late run to break open the game.

"They forced us to take a lot more outside shots and we just didn't hit them," Erickson said.

Erickson thought the back-to-back games wore his team out down the stretch.

"We're in decent shape, but we're not in game shape yet" Erickson said. "We were a little fatigued at the end."

Valgardson was the only Skylight player in double figures with 12 points. She also grabbed a game-high 11 rebounds. Minot was led by Andrea Sebelius with 20 points and nine rebounds. Former Malta standout LeeAnn Pekovitch added 10 points in the win for the Beavers.

"There were a lot of pluses this weekend," Erickson said. "As long as you learn from your losses, you can find positives. We need to be mentally more prepared for each game."

Northern will host a big non-conference game on Friday against the No. 4 University of Mary Marauders.

MSU-NORTHERN (71)

Brettney Vermandel 4-6 3-4 11, Michele VanDyke 1-6 3-4 5, Megan Valgardson 6-9 4-4 16, Kristie Pullin 1-5 0-0 2, Khadiga Mohamed 4-8 0-1 8, Laura Keaster 0-0 0-0 0, Jessi Reome 7-10 0-0 18, Anna Bateman 1-7 0-0 2, Kristal Lohse 1-1 0-0 3, Chasi Buffington 1-2 0-0 2, Jenna Heggem 1-1 2-3 4, Sheena Darlington 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 27-55 13-18 71.

JAMESTOWN (50)

Erin Becke 0-5 1-2 1, Cara Wright 0-2 1-3 1, Nicole Nold 3-7 3-7 9, Jenn Maus 0-5 2-2 2, Amy Loff 2-3 3-4 8, Leslie Delfs 0-0 0-0 0, Rebecca Rost 0-0 0-0 0, Jenna Wolf 2-4 0-0 4, Amanda Sethen 5-12 0-2 12, Ashley Sargent 0-1 0-0 0, Lindsey Ness 4-7 2-4 11, Christina Lindman 1-1 0-0 1, Kaila Krebsbach 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 17-47 12-24 50.

Halftime: Three-pointers: MSUN 4-11 (Pullin 0-1, Mohammed 0-1, Bateman 0-5, Reome 4-4), JC 4-14 (Sethen 2-5, Ness 1-1, Loff 1-2, Wright 0-1, Maus 0-3, Wolff 0-1, Sargent 0-1). Rebounds: MSUN 27 (Vermandel 8), JC 35 (Sethen 9). Assists: MSUN 15 (Pullin 5), JC 7 (Maus 3) Fouls: MSUN 20, JC 20. Fouled out - none.

MSU-NORTHERN (56)

Brettney Vermandel 0- 3-4 3; Michele VanDyke 3-10 1-4 7; Megan Valgardson 4-13 4-8 12; Kristie Pullin 2-5 2-2 7; Khadiga Mohammed 3-12 0-0 6; Jessi Reome 2-6 0-0 5; Anna Bateman 3-8 0-0 7; Kristal Lohse 2-3 2-3 6; Chasi Buffington 1-2 0-0 2; Jenna Heggem 0-1 0-0 0; Sheena Darlington 0-1 1-2 1. Totals: 20-65 13-23 56.

MINOT STATE (75)

LeeAnn Pekovitch 2-7 6-8 10; Jennifer Sundahl 2-6 5-6 9; Lindsey Johnson 2-8 3-6 7; Brenda Robinson 1-2 4-6 6; Andrea Sebelius 5-15 8-9 20; Brandy Howard 0-1 0-2 0; Betsy Vig 2-5 0-0 6; Rashawna Mays 5-8 1-1 11; Hillary Demers 0-1 0-0 0; Beth Quaintance 2-4 0-0 5; Jenny Castro 0-1 1-2 1. Totals: 21-58 28-40 75.

Halftime: MSU 29, MSUN 23. Three point goals: MSUN 3-11 (Pullin 1-2, Mohammed 0-1, Reome 1-4, Bateman 1-4), MSUN 5-15 (Sebelius 2-8, Vig 2-5, Quaintance 1-2). Rebounds: MSUN 36 (Valgardson 11); MSU (Sebelius 9) Assists: MSUN (VanDyke 2); MSU 14 (Pekovitch 6). Total fouls: MSUN 30, MSU 19. Fouled out - Vermandel, Mohammed; Technicals - none.

 

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