The Central Lakes College Raiders fell behind early and couldn't quite come back, losing 77-58 to the Minnesota West Blue Jays Friday in the opening round of the CLC Invite.
Minnesota West's Sam Lynn, who is averaging 19.45 points, made things rough for the Raiders, finishing with 28 points .
The Blue Jays lead the Southern Division in field goal percentage at 42.7. They are also 33 percent shooters from 3-point range, which is good for second in the division.
Those are just a couple reasons why Minnesota West is now 10-2 after Friday's win.
"Sam Lynn just put a hurting on us," said Raiders head coach Dennis Eastman.
“She was going by us on defense and instead of people trying to stop her, they were just trying to wave at the ball and against a good team we can’t do that. We just need to be more disciplined. We need to get back to doing the right things.”
“They (Minnesota West) weren’t doing very much. We were just doing a lot of ball watching. We didn’t have any movement or continuity to our offense. We passed the ball inside and would just watch Katie (Hochsprung), or we would just watch the shooter. They had 17 offensive rebounds, which means that they are moving after the shot and we’re not.”
Stephanie Neugebauer led the Raiders with 21 points and was followed by Nikki Pearson’s 12 points and Katie Hochsprung’s 10.
Neugebauer scored the first seven points of the second half as the Raiders closed to 38-36. Instead of letting CLC take the lead, Minnesota West responded with tough defense that translated into transition baskets. From there the Raiders were plagued with poor shooting as they hit on just 20 percent from the field in the second half.
“We spent this whole week doing shooting drills, and shooting when we are tired,” Eastman said. “In the second half, we shot 20 percent. We kind of dug our way out of a hole in the first half, but then we come out in the second and got within two. But then we started getting turnovers and they were scoring off of them. That’s a good ball club that we played.”
Eastman gave credit to Minnesota State for a good defensive game plan against Pearson, who was held to just three assists.
“I think they did purposely try to slow her down,” he said. “Nikki plays a lot of minutes for us. She played almost 37 minutes and at a college level that is a lot of minutes. I told her that she needs to get her sleep and be eating right because she will probably play another 35 minutes tomorrow.”
Coming out of the locker room in the right frame of mind will be important for CLC Saturday against Fergus Falls.
“We are not getting ourselves prepared to play,” Eastman said. “I said before the game that we were flat and would need an early timeout. One or two minutes into the game I called the timeout and let them know that they have to get themselves ready to play. We have to figure that out. Once in a while I can give a rah-rah speech, but I can’t do it for 27 games.”
Minnesota West 38 39 — 77
Central Lakes 29 29 — 58
Erica Thier 3, Kayla Vander Veen 4, Stephanie Maras 1, Alyssa Smith 12, Sam Lynn 28, Alyson Drooger 14, Kayla Schroeder 7, LoRel Christensen 8.
FG 27-75 (36 percent), FT 13-19 (68 percent).
Nikki Pearson 12, Lindsey Roos 2, Stephanie Neugebauer 21, Betsy Helmeke 3, Kelsey Wheeler 2, Brittany Gravelle 2, Carlee Davich 6, Katie Hochsprung 10. FG 21-75 (28 percent), FT 15-21 (71 percent).