It's a little early to call Wednesday's North Division opener against the Northland Pioneers a must win game for the Central Lakes College women's basketball team, but it was close. After all, the Raiders hadn't won in three weeks and lost six straight.
CLC (3-11 overall, 0-1 division) led Northland (4-10, overall, 1-0 division) for the first 30 minutes of the game until the Pioneers outscored the Raiders 26-13 the rest of the way to open division play with a 57-52 win.
"I thought we dominated the game but we lost it down the stretch," Raiders coach Brad Amundson said. "I told the girls this was one of our better games. We had good energy and intensity but we had too many mistakes down the stretch and that's where Northland made their run on us."
Northland 57, Raiders 52
The key: Northland outscored the Raiders 26-13 in the final 10 minutes of the game for the comeback win.
North Division: CLC 0-1, NL 1-0
Overall: CLC 3-11, NL 4-10
Next: CLC at Vermilion 1 p.m. Saturday.
CLC led the Pioneers 39-31, its largest lead of the game, when Northland went on an 11-0 run and took a 42-39 lead with less than eight minutes to play. A Jenae Swanson three stopped the bleeding and helped spark a 9-2 run in which the Raiders retook the lead at 48-44.
"I thought Jenae, for only having practiced with us a week, came out and played very well," Amundson said. "We need other players to step up and be aggressive and Jenae was aggressive on the boards for us."
Northland then went on to outscore the Raiders 13-4 to close out the game. A Lynsey Roppe three with 1:20 left in the game gave Northland a 52-50 lead but Megan Meyer, who led CLC with 15 points, hit a jumper to tie the game. But Pioneers guard Jackie Fossum, who led all scorers with 19 points, followed with one of her three second-half 3-pointers on a broken defensive assignment.
"We knew (Fossum) was their best scorer," Amundson said. "The three she made late in the game hurt because there was a mix up on defense and she was ungaurded. Northland executed down the stretch and we didn't."
One area the Raiders stood out was in rebounding, where CLC held a 46-25 advantage. Whitney Glazier had 10 boards and Swanson had seven, a number of them the offensive.
"We did great on the boards and we had pretty much any shot we wanted, they just weren't falling," Amundson said. "It was a very frustrating loss. I thought we had a good game plan and the girls did a nice job of executing that game plan except down the stretch."
Northland 21 36 - 57
Central Lakes 25 27 - 52
Jackie Fossum 19, Amber Stirling 6, Sara Rindahl 6, Heather Keohg 3, Cassey Engelstad 7, Linsey Roppe 8, Brittany Keller 2, Susan Satre 4. FG 21-48 (44 percent), FT 9-15 (60 percent). Three-point baskets: 4 (Fossum 3, Roppe).
Heather Feldewerd 2, Whitney Glazier 9, Jenae Swanson 9, Lisa Kurtz 1, Erin Karlsgodt 8, Megan Meyer 15, LeaAnn Karlsgodt 8. FG 21-63 (33 percent), FT 8-20 (40 percent). Three-point baskets: 2 (Meyer, Swanson).
Rebounds: CLC 46 (Glazier 10, Swanson 7), NL 25 (Fossum 5). Assists: CLC 12 (E. Karlsgodt 3), NL 8 (Fossum 3). Turnovers: CLC 24, NL 25.
TROY GUNDERSON can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 855-5865.
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