MSU runs past Dragons

Rest may be overrated for the Minot State University women’s basketball team.

In the second leg of their first two-game weekend, the Beavers played some of their best defense of the season and crushed Minnesota State-Moorhead in transition en route to a 72-58 Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference victory Saturday at the MSU Dome.

MSU (7-0 overall, 3-0 NSIC) swiped 12 steals, turning many of them into layups on the other end.

“They definitely came out with good intensity on the defensive end,” MSU coach Sheila Green Gerding said. “I could just tell there was a whole different level tonight defensively. I think that created some energy defensively, which led to turnovers, which led to offense. It’s fun to run and you can run better when you get steals and rebounds.”

MSU forwards Carly Boag, Christina Boag and Katie Hardy used their speed to beat the Dragons’ posts downcourt and cut around them for easy baskets in the half-court offense. Carly Boag finished with a game-high 20 points and Hardy and Christina Boag added 13 apiece.

“They didn’t switch so it was a lot easier to just get around them,” Christina Boag said. “Their posts were a lot slower than ours so it was quick to get a one-on-one or just go around them and get a good layup.”

MSU never trailed and gained a seven-point advantage 4 minutes, 12 seconds into the contest. Moorhead went on an 8-2 run midway through the first half to pull within 17-14, but five Beavers scored during a subsequent 15-2 stretch.

MSU led 37-17 at halftime and maintained a double-digit lead throughout the second stanza.

The Beavers assisted on 22 of their 28 field goals, led by a career-high eight helpers from junior Morgan Klose.

“Most of them were just to the posts running the floor,” Klose said. “They’re the ones that bust their butts. I just throw it up and hope they catch it.”

The Boag twins had a few special moments of their own, displaying the type of chemistry only developed by a lifetime of playing together.

The most highlight-worthy connection came with about five minutes remaining in the second half. Carly violently blocked a drive by a Moorhead player, ran ahead of the pack to receive the ball in a two-on-one situation and one-touched a no-look pass across the lane to Christina, who finished a left-handed layup.

Two minutes later, Carly snared a rebound and immediately baseball-passed it the length of the court to Christina, who finished an old-fashioned three-point play.

“We can just read each other really well, just playing with each other for so long,” Christina said. “We just know how each other play. I just had to say her name and she turned around and chucked it into me.”

Said Green Gerding: “It’s fun to coach because it’s not something that you can teach. It’s just a feel for a game. They’re really talented kids that just have a good feel for the game and a good feel for each other.”

Morgan Zabel tallied a team-high 15 points for Moorhead (4-3, 0-3).

MSU finished its season-opening homestand undefeated. The Beavers play their first road games this weekend at St. Cloud State and Minnesota Duluth.

Daniel Allar covers Minot State University athletics. Follow him on Twitter @DAllar_MDN.