BULLDOG DEFENSE FALTERS IN 77-71 LOSS TO MSU-MANKATO
Saturday, January 19, 2013
For the first time this season, the University of Minnesota Duluth (10-6 overall, 7-5 in the NSIC) has come up short in back-to-back outings. Minnesota State University-Mankato ensured that with a blistering second half Saturday afternoon in a 77-71 victory over the Bulldogs, who have now dropped consecutive home outings for the first time since head coach Annette Wiles' initial two home games at the UMD helm in 2008-09.
A combined 62 points from junior guard Katrina Newman, junior center Hannah Rutten and senior guard Courtney Doucette was not enough for UMD, which was outdone on offense by the 24th ranked Mavericks. In a back-and-forth first half that featured seven lead changes, the Bulldogs took advantage of double-digit contributions from Newman, Rutten and Doucette to mount a 41-33 lead in the half’s closing minutes. Doucette helped stretch that lead with a pair of long bombs behind the arc just in front of the break. The Bulldogs also held a firm edge on the boards in the first half, out-rebounding the Mavericks 24-11 before the break.
The lead would not last long into the second frame, however. It took Mankato less than four minutes into the second half to strip UMD of its halftime margin and the Mavericks quickly closed the rebounding gap. Unable to control the glass or shoot at the 49-percent clip they recorded in the first half, the Bulldogs were forced to play from behind for the bulk half. The teams traded buckets as the game wore on, but UMD could never pull ahead of the Mavericks, who posted a decisive 28-3 advantage in bench scoring.
The Bulldogs (10-6 overall and 7-5 in the NSIC) were able to slice the Maverick lead to a single point with just over two minutes to play, but defensive breakdowns and strong free-throw shooting from the visitors sealed the Bulldogs’ fate. MSU-Mankato (12-4; 8-4) made 17 of 26 free throw attempts and held UMD to a combined 15 tries from the charity stripe. Katrina Newman led UMD with 23 points, while Rutten followed with 22 of her own and Doucette added 17 points (including 14 in the first half) to round out the Bulldogs in double figures.
UMD will return to action next weekend when the Bulldogs hit the road to take on the University of Mary and Minot State.
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