SCSU women open with big victory

Sam Price and Jessica Benson are forming a nice 1-2 offensive punch.

Both players had 24 points each as St. Cloud State opened the season with a convincing 80-60 win over NSIC North Division favorite Minnesota-Duluth Saturday afternoon at Halenbeck Hall.

“We really rose to the challenge in this one,” SCSU head coach Lori Fish said. “Our team executed our game plan to a ‘T.’ We stayed poised the entire game and did what we needed to.”

Price scored 15 of her points in the second half and finished 7 of 11 from the field and 5 of 9 from three-point range.

When Price is on, the Huskies are usually on.

Benson’s point total was a career-high. Benson, who battled a bloody nose earlier in the game, admitted to struggling recently with her shot.

“It felt like my inside game and my shot were finally there today,” Benson said. “I missed a couple of layups, but overall I was happy with how I played. Our team as a whole just played awesome.”

But it just wasn’t those two. SCSU senior point guard Nicole Anderson added 18 points, eight rebounds and eight assists.

“I expect Sam and Jessica to play like that. But to have Nicole to be that third scorer today, that was huge,” Fish said. “We’re always looking for that third scorer. It’s tough getting her to shoot more because she’s so unselfish.”

The Huskies shot 52.8 percent from the field, including 64 percent in the second half.

“We’ve worked on our offense,” Benson said. “People are starting to hit more shots and are confident driving to the basket. We’re really looking good on that end.”

St. Cloud State (1-0 NSIC, 5-0 overall) used runs of 9-0 and 14-1 near the end of the game to hold off the Bulldogs (0-1, 3-2).

Fish tabbed Minnesota-Duluth as the best defensive team in the NSIC coming into the season. But St. Cloud State looked like the better defensive team Saturday.

The Huskies forced 24 turnovers.

UMD leading scorer Katrina Newman had 21 points, but it came as quietly as possible.

“They were said to be the best defensive team in the league, but I thought that we made a statement today,” Benson said. “Our defense was unbelievable. We got stops when we needed to.”

Said Fish: “I kept telling our players that UMD was the best defensive team in the league. I think they got sick of me saying that.

“They showed tonight that they can play a little defense, too.”

<EM>

MINNESOTA-DULUTH (60)

Katrina Newman 9-20 2-2 21 (7 rebounds, 6 steals), Hannah Rutten 3-12 1-1 7 (7 rebounds), Courtney Doucette 2-5 0-0 6, Jessica Newman 2-5 0-2 4, Kaiya Sygulla 0-2 5-6 5 (4 assists), Alyssa Kerkhoff 2-7 2-2 7, Megan Lueck 1-2 0-0 3, Josephine Salmon 1-1 0-0 2, Taylor Dillenger 0-0 1-2 1, Taylor Meyer 2-2 0-0 4, Abbie Whitney 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: FG 22-56, FT 11-15, REB 34, PF 17, TO 24.

ST. CLOUD STATE (80)

Morgan Lof 0-1 0-0 0, Amanda Wagner 3-4 0-0 7 (4 assists, 6 steals), Jessica Benson 10-19 2-2 24 (5 steals, 6 rebounds), Sam Price 7-11 5-6 24, Nicole Anderson 6-8 6-8 18 (8 rebounds, 8 assists), Lexy Petermann 1-4 0-0 2, Rachael Moen 0-2 0-0 0, Emma Konopasek 1-3 0-0 2, Karissa LeCaptain 0-0 1-2 1. Totals: FG 28-53, FT 16-20, REB 29, PF 16, TO 18.

Three-pointers: UMD 5-11 (Katrina Newman 1-3, Doucette 2-4, Jessica Newman 0-1, Kerkhoff 1-1, Lueck 1-2); SC 8-18 (Wagner 1-2, Benson 2-5, Price 5-9, Anderson 0-1, Petermann 0-1); Fouled out: none; Points in the paint: SC 20, UMD 8; Points off turnovers: SC 14, UMD 12; Second-chance points: UMD 7, SC 4; Fastbreak points: SC 4, UMD 2; Bench points: UMD 7, SC 4; Halftime score: SC 36, UMD 29; Deadball rebounds: UMD 4, SC 0; A: 2,166.

Andy Rennecke

About Andy Rennecke

A sports writer for the St. Cloud (Minnesota) Times newspaper who covers St. Cloud State athletics with a focus on football, women's basketball and men's basketball. I also cover the St. Cloud Rox of the Northwoods League. Follow Andy Rennecke at https://twitter.com/AndyRennecke
This entry was posted in Online. Bookmark the permalink.