When a game is tied eight times, it can go either way.
And, it was the Central Lakes College Raiders that secured a 63-57 win over the fourth-ranked NJCAA Division III Riverland Blue Devils for their first victory of the season Saturday.
“It’s nice, as a coach, when I see something happening in my head a certain way, to see it come true,” said Raiders head coach Dennis Eastman. “This is the way that I’ve expected them to play for a long time, it’s all part of the process and we took the next step, which was huge today.”
Lindsay Monson led the Raiders with 23 points and nine rebounds. Monson shot 10 of 13 from the field but the Raiders shot only 28 percent in the first half.
“Our downfall has been our shooting percentage and it was nice to get the win,” said Eastman.
The game moved point for point until the last two minutes of the first half when a flurry of steals and foul shots sent the Blue Devils to their largest lead of the game, 31-24.
CLC came back after half-time, shooting 35 percent to Riverland’s 38 percent, but scored 23 off of Blue Devils’ turnovers, which gave the Raiders the advantage they needed.
“We’re normally on the other side of the turnovers. I think defense won the game,” said Eastman. “The bench really helped. Everyone played well today.”
CLC’s Taalyr Egeness added 19 points, which included three crucial 3-point shots, all six of the Raiders’ free throws, 11 rebounds and nine assists.
Sierra Benning added eight points and four rebounds and Jalynn Lamb notched six points for CLC.
“It’s another big step that we took today,” said Eastman. “They can enjoy this one today but on Monday it’s back to work again because next week we have two tough games road games (at Ridgewater and at Minnesota West).”
Riverland 31 26 - 57
Central Lakes 24 39 - 63
Skylar Anderson 2, Rebekah Aase 18, Victoria Larson 12, Morgan Lindenfelser 10, Sophia Hebrink 10, Nicole Swanson 5. FG 21-54 (39 percent). FT 11-17 (65 percent).
Sierra Benning 8, Mariya Pierskalla 1, Ashley Arenson 6, Taalyr Egeness 19, Lindsay Monson 23, Jalynn Lamb 6. FG 23-64 (35 percent), FT 14-21 (66 percent). Overall: 1-5. Next: CLC at Ridgewater 6 p.m. Dec. 8.