Playing at a tournament in San Antonio, the UMD women’s basketball team came home this weekend with a win and a loss in their season-opening series. The Bulldogs beat Central Oklahoma, 64-44, Saturday before falling to St. Mary’s (Texas), 71-63, Sunday at a tournament hosted by St. Mary’s.
The Bulldogs were led Saturday by junior Hannah Rutten, who put up 23 points in the game and shot 9-of-20 (45 percent) from the field. Fellow junior Katrina Newman contributed 15 points.
The Bulldogs led most of the way, pacing the Bronchos, 33-18, at halftime. While the game remained close early, the Bulldogs pulled away with a 14-4 run in the final 8:14 of the first half.
The Bulldogs continued to pull away in the second. By the 10:48 mark of the half, they were up by 21, their largest lead of the game. Central Oklahoma continued to play in stride with UMD for the final 10 minutes of the game, but the Bronchos couldn’t manage to chip away at the lead as the Bulldogs coasted to 64-44 victory.
UMD outshot Central Oklahoma, 37.8 to 21.4 percent, in the game. Both teams struggled from the three-point line, with UMD converting only two of 16 attempts and Central Oklahoma connecting on just one of seven.
The Bulldogs could not keep the momentum going as they faced off with another unfamiliar opponent, St. Mary’s University, Sunday.
Although the final differential on the scoreboard was only eight points, the Bulldogs fell into a hole early and could not climb their way out. After starting with a 2-0 lead, the Bulldogs would trail the rest of the way.
The Rattlers led by as much as 13 in the first half before taking a 25-16 lead into halftime. On the other side of the break, the lead was extended to as much as 15 early in the second, but the Bulldogs fought back. They pulled within six in the final minute of the game, but their comeback efforts ran out of time as the Rattlers pulled off the 71-63 win.
The top scorer for the Bulldogs was junior Katrina Newman, who shot 10-of-23 (43.8 percent) from the field for 25 points. Rutten had another impressive game for UMD, backing up her performance with 12 points.
As a team, the Bulldogs saw a drop-off in their shooting percentage. UMD hit just 18.2 percent of their field goal attempts, while the Rattlers hit 37.5 percent of their shots. The Bulldogs managed to connect on 5-of-14 three-pointers, versus 5-of-11 for St. Mary’s.
UMD will hit the hardwood at home for the first time this season Saturday to take on Michigan Tech. The game starts at 4 p.m. in Romano Gym and is the first half of a doubleheader, with the men’s game to follow. The Bulldogs will then play Wisconsin-Superior in the annual Bridge Battle, at 7 p.m. Tuesday in Romano.
BY TOM OLSEN firstname.lastname@example.org