St. Cloud State appearing in their third consecutive Division II Regional NCAA Tournament would face a fast paced Missouri Southern State team that would take them down to the wire and then some. Huskies would need the extra 5 minute quarter to finish off the Lions but it didn’t come easy as this game grew physical as it progressed.
The game started off with many missed chances on both ends of the court throughout, Huskies weren’t able to manage their offense well through the first 5 minutes of play not seeing double digits until almost 8 minutes into the 1st. Brehna Evans made herself known in the 1st as she put up 7 of the first 11 points . Lions would go on a 14-5 run in the first 5 and only manage a 2 point spread in the latter 5 of the 1st as they struggled from both low and mid-range shots.
Both teams slow out of the gate in the 2nd quarter as neither team found much net in the first 4 minutes of the game until about midway through where the Huskies and Lions were trading points. St. Cloud State still struggled from mid range but the Huskies, after slowly chipping away at the Lions lead would head to the locker room with a 1 point deficit 26-25 after 2.
The second half saw more offense from both teams as shots would begin to fall. Lions seemed challenged as they were not able to connect on many of their attempts from the floor.Huskies were 7 for 15 from the floor in the 3rd quarter including a shot from the arc from Tori Wortz that would give St. Cloud State the 1 point edge heading into the final frame 44-42.
The fourth quarter saw the Huskies discipline begin to unravel as they would allow the Lions several chances from the line and seemed tired throughout but Brehna Evans would be matched up with MIAA Freshman of the Year Lacy Stokes who would bring the offense the Lions needed to maintain the lead needed. Outside of Brehna Evans and Lacy Stokes, both teams struggled with turnovers and offense altogether as the quarter closed , the game became scrappy as Nikki Kilboten would tally her 4th foul of the evening capping off a physical 4th quarter where both teams in the final minutes traded points including a last minute turnover for Missouri Southern resulting in an easy walk in lay up to tie the game at 62-62 after 4.
We move on to overtime where the Huskies hopes of moving on seemed to fade quickly as the Lions finally broke through with a 4-0 run after almost the entirety of the 4th quarter being a one possession game. Huskies would answer back quickly after a Katrina Theis steal in the closing minutes followed by Brehna Evans adding 3 of 4 free throws in the extra quarter as well as Theis, this time on defense sealing the victory with a defensive rebound.
Brehna Evans was the key component in the victory as she would add her second career double double adding on 22 points in the victory. Nikki Kilboten would also add a double double as her alongside Tori Wortz would factor in to the second half offense for the Huskies in a big way adding another 22 combined points in the win.
Huskies win 69-67 over Missouri Southern State and now move on to the NCAA Regional Semifinal Round and will face the home team, so to speak, as they take on the Fort Hays State Tigers at 7:30pm from the Gross Memorial Coliseum on the campus of Fort Hays State University. You can tune in on 97.5 Radio X, with a pregame starting around 7:15pm.