The St. Cloud State women’s basketball team could be without starting shooting guard Sam Price this weekend after she injured her shooting shoulder earlier this week in practice.
SCSU head coach Lori Fish said Price hasn’t improved much during the week and that she’ll be a game-time decision against Northern State on Friday. The tip between the Wolves and Huskies is at 6 p.m. in Aberdeen, S.D.
“That’s a big loss if we she’s not in the lineup,” Fish said Thursday afternoon. “We’ll start Lexy Petermann against Northern if Sam can’t play. That might not be the worst thing because Northern has a big lineup.”
Price is averaging 17.4 points per game this season, which leads the team along with sophomore forward Jessica Benson, who averages the same amount. Price’s possible absence could create more of an emphasis on Benson to score this weekend.
After Friday, the Huskies travel to take on MSU-Moorhead at 4 p.m. Saturday. Both games will be the Huskies’ toughest tests of the season.
The Wolves are 1-2 in the NSIC and 5-2 overall and the Dragons are 2-1 and 5-2. The Huskies are 3-0 in the NSIC and 7-0 overall. It’s the best start for the program since the 2008-09 season when it last made the NCAA Tournament.
“I’m just worried about our starters getting us off to a good start,” Fish said. “I know our freshmen will have their eyes opened, too, but I’m less worried about them. We’re going against two good inside teams this weekend. That will be tough.”
The Huskies are 1-7 against Northern since 1995.
No. 11-ranked St. Cloud State will be playing the two toughest foes it will see in the NSIC’s North Division this year in Northern State on Friday and Moorhead on Saturday.
Moorhead was picked to finish above the Huskies in the preseason coaches poll. The Dragons are 2-1 in the NSIC and 7-1 overall. Northern State is 3-0 in the NSIC and 7-2 overall. Northern was picked to finish third in the North behind the Dragons and Huskies.
The Huskies are at Northern State at 8 p.m. Friday and at Moorhead at 6 p.m. Saturday.
SCSU head coach Kevin Schlagel knows it will be a tough road trip this weekend.
“It’s our first road trip in the conference and that’s always a tough challenge,” Schlagel said at practice Wednesday. “You have two really good teams here who present different styles of play. Northern is physical and inside-oriented. Moorhead is more perimeter-oriented and it shoots a lot of threes. We’ll have our hands full. I’m anxious to see how we’ll respond.”
The Huskies have won five in a row over Northern. SCSU won 94-84 over the Wolves at home last year and held on for an 87-83 win over OT in Aberdeen, S.D.
The Wolves are led by senior forward Collin Pryor. He’s averaging 14.4 points and 6.4 rebounds a game. The Huskies also can’t forget about Dustin Tetzlaff, who’s averaging 10.9 points and 6.4 rebounds a game. Tetzlaff averaged almost 15 points a game last season.
“Pryor and Tetzlaff make for a great combination for Northern,” Schlagel said. “That’s one of the best combos in the league.”
The Dragons are led by NSIC nomad Anthony Tucker, who transferred to Moorhead last year after a stint with Winona State. He wore out his welcome in Winona after wearing out his welcome at Iowa.
Nobody can deny Tucker’s talent. He’s leading the Dragons in scoring at 19.6 points a game. He also leads the team in assists (39) and steals (9).
The Dragons also get help from NSIC preseason North Division player of the year, Alex Novak. Novak is averaging 14.3 points and 9.4 rebounds per game this year.
“Moorhead’s really well-balanced,” Schlagel said. “Tucker is the best three-pointer in the league. If they shoot the ball well, it could be a long night for us.”