FREMONT, Neb. – A strong second half from the Midland University women’s basketball team propelled the Warriors to a 65-51 win over College of St. Mary on Wednesday night. The win lifts Midland to 8-15 on the year with a 4-11 mark in Great Plains Athletic Conference action while CSM falls to 5-18 overall and 2-14 in the league.
Midland shot 32.1 percent (17-of-53) from the field compared to 34 percent (18-of-53) for CSM. The Warriors outscored the Flames by 13 points from the charity stripe after knocking down 23 free throws. CSM managed to outrebound Midland 37-29, but the Warriors buckled down on defense and forced 20 turnovers while committing just 11 of their own.
Junior Katy Gathje recorded a career-high 17 points and narrowly missed a double-double after coming away with nine rebounds. Senior Amanda Hansen followed with 10 points, six rebounds, and three steals on the night. Senior Maddie Meadows contributed eight points while freshman Kara Jennings came off the bench to hit a pair of clutch three pointers.
The teams traded points early in the first quarter as a three from Hansen had Midland up 8-4 with 5:37 on the clock. The Flames came roaring back to claim a narrow lead before sophomore Peyton Wingert gave her team a 12-11 lead from the charity stripe. CSM would nail a three to take a 14-12 lead, but late free throws by the Warriors saw the score knotted up at 14-14 as time expired in the quarter.
Jennings provided a spark off the bench as two three pointers in the opening minute of the second quarter gave Midland their largest lead of the night at 20-14. CSM enjoyed an eight-point run to go up 22-20 with 3:34 to go in the quarter. A layup by Hansen got the Warriors back on track as the score reached 22-22 with 1:38 remaining. CSM would drop in a layup and hit a jumper at the buzzer to carry a 26-22 lead into the break.
The Warriors came out of the break with renewed energy and would go on a 10-1 run to go up 32-27 with five minute to go in the third quarter. Threes by sophomores Lexis Haase and Sam Shepard put Midland up 38-32 with 2:17 on the clock, but CSM would benefit from free throws and pulled within two with under a minute to go. A layup by Gathje wrapped up scoring in the third quarter as Midland held a 40-36 lead heading into the final frame.
The Flames pulled within one early in the fourth quarter, but Midland would benefit from free throws yet again as a pair from Gathje had the Warriors up 43-40 with eight minutes on the clock. The free throws would mark the beginning of a 16-3 scoring run which would lift Midland to a 57-43 lead with under five minutes to go. Six additional free throws down the stretch would help sustain the lead as Midland ran away with the 65-51 victory. Midland outscored CSM 43-25 in the second half.
Midland (8-15, 4-11 GPAC) will remain home to take on No. 9 Dordt University (19-4, 11-4 GPAC) on Saturday, February 1 with tipoff set for 2:00 p.m. The Warriors fell by a score of 98-62 when the teams met on December 7.