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A Tale of Two Halves as Minnesota, Crookston Holds Off SMSU 76-73
January 3, 2009

Contact: Mitch Bakken- Sports Information Director (218) 281-8414


(Marshall, Minn.)- The University of Minnesota, Crookston (UMC) Women’s Basketball team bounced back tonight against Southwest Minnesota State University (SMSU) following a heartbreaking 69-66 loss to #9 Minnesota State last night. The first half was just the beginning of tonight’s match-up as SMSU battled back from 22 points down early in the second half to give UMC all they could handle in the 76-73 conference victory.
 
In the first half, SMSU tied the score at 2-2 at the 18:44 mark. After that, it was the Golden Eagles who turned on the pressure. UMC went on a 19-11 run to close out the half with a 20 point lead 48-28. The 48 first half points is the team’s second most first half points of the season (61 points vs. Crown College on 11/22/08). The Mustangs opened the second half on a 14-4 run to test the Golden Eagles and get within eight points. SMSU took their first lead of the game with 3:15 remaining in regulation. Through the final three minutes, the teams swapped leads five times until Bri Zabel (F, 6-0, SO, Northfield, Minn.) made a huge lay-up for the Golden Eagles and was fouled with 13 seconds remaining to give UMC a 74-73 lead. Gina Jaroszewski (F, 5-11, SO, Moorhead, Minn.) blocked an SMSU shot with two seconds left and Ana Garcia (G, 5-7, SO, Minnetonka, Minn.) was fouled and made both attempts to secure the 76-73 NSIC victory.
 
Jamie Zelinsky (G, 5-11, SO, Brooklyn Park, Minn.) led all scorers tonight with 17 points. She was 5-9 from the field, 1-2 from long range and 6-6 from the free-throw line. Zabel tallied 16 points, grabbed eight rebounds and dished a career high eight assists in the contest. Jaroszewski finished the game with 13 points, going 5-8 from the field and 3-6 from beyond the arc. The Golden Eagles earned the victory as a team, going 20-23 (87%) from the free-throw line to set a 2008-09 season high.
 
The Mustangs took advantage of 17 Golden Eagle turnovers in the second half and converted them into 19 points to jump back in the game. Leading the way offensively for SMSU was Megan Stadler who scored 15 points and dished five assists. Tori Fink finished the contest with 11 points and Abby Kenealy closed out the top Mustang scorers with 10 points.
 
The University of Minnesota, Crookston moves to 7-5 overall and 3-3 in the NSIC. Southwest Minnesota State drops to 9-6 overall and 1-4 in the NSIC. The Golden Eagles return to the court on January 9 and 10 as UMC hosts Wayne State and Augustana. Tip-off is scheduled for 6 p.m. in Lysaker Gymnasium on both nights.
 
For more information, visit the Golden Eagle Athletics website at: www.goldeneaglesports.com.  
 
The University of Minnesota, Crookston is a NCAA Division II Institution and a member of the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC). Golden Eagle Hockey is a member of the Midwest Collegiate Hockey Association (MCHA). The Golden Eagle Equestrian team is a member of the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association (IHSA).