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Dragons women play stingy defense in home victory against Minot State

MSUM scored the game's first seven points and never trailed against Minot State at Alex Nemzek Fieldhouse.

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Minnesota State Moorhead's Natalie Jens drives past Minot State’s Kate Head during their women's basketball game Thursday, Dec. 1, 2022, at Moorhead.
Michael Vosburg/The Forum
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MOORHEAD — Minnesota State Moorhead limited Minot State to two points in the first quarter Thursday, an opening stretch that proved to be a precursor for the evening.

That stingy start helped fuel MSUM's 57-33 victory in Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference women's basketball at Alex Nemzek Fieldhouse.

"Defense wins games so that’s where it all starts for us." said Dragons guard Natalie Jens, who had 13 points, four assists and one steal.

The Dragons (4-2, 1-1 NSIC) have won three consecutive games.

“I think as a team we’re playing really well and I’m excited for us to come together throughout the season," Jens said. “It’s a huge win in the conference and we just keep building on that.”

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Minnesota State Moorhead's Peyton Boom goes up for two against Minot State during their women's basketball game Thursday, Dec. 1, 2022, at Moorhead.
Michael Vosburg/The Forum

MSUM continues NSIC play at 2 p.m. Saturday at the University of Mary in Bismarck.

The Dragons started to pull away from Minot State early in the second half. They built a double-digit cushion in the third quarter after a 9-0 run. Senior Peyton Boom scored the first four points in that rally and junior gaurd Mariah McKeever capped the surge with a driving layup for a 35-18 lead with 4 minutes, 46 seconds remaining in the third.

The 6-foot Boom added a basket that gave the Dragons a 40-25 lead with 52 seconds to play in the third quarter. MSUM carried that lead into the final 10 minutes and led by as many as 24 points in the fourth quarter. Boom scored eight points in the third quarter.

“Peyton is amazing," Jens said. "She’s a great player and she can find open players. She opens up that inside-out game for us.”

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Minnesota State Moorhead's Natalie Jens goes up for two against Minot State during their women's basketball game Thursday, Dec. 1, 2022, at Moorhead.
Michael Vosburg/The Forum

Boom finished with a game-high 14 points on 7-of-9 shooting from the floor.

Minot State shot 21% (12 of 58) from the floor for the game.

The Dragons scored the game's first seven points and never trailed. MSUM build a 7-0 lead after a Terryn Johnson free throw with 2:35 remaining in the first quarter.

Jens scored 11 points in the first half on 4-of-10 shooting from the floor. She also sank 2 of 2 foul shots. The Dragons led by as many as 11 points in the first two quarters and took a 24-16 lead into halftime.

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MSUM shot 30% (8 of 27) from the field in the opening half, while Minot shot 20% (6 of 30) from the floor through the first 20 minutes.

“We had a little slow start in the beginning, but I think we really came together as a team," Jens said.

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Minot 2 16 25 33
Moorhead 10 24 40 57

MINOT (4-3, 0-1 NSIC): Elliott 0-4 0-0 0, McIver 0-6 0-0 0, Mogen 2-7 0- 4, Head 3-15 2-2 10, Jonsdottir 0-1 0-0 0, Harris 1-4 0-0 2, Srejma 2-6 1-2 5, Skeggs 3-9 2-2 10, Smestad 1-5 0-0 2, Baker 0-1 0-0 0, Aberle 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 12-58 5-6 33.

MOORHEAD (4-2, 1-1): Johnson 0-2 3-4 3, Skibiel 3-9 0-0 8, Boom 7-9 0-0 14, McKeever 5-10 2-2 13, Jens 5-15 2-2 13, Knight 1-3 2-3 4, Bang 0-3 0-0 0, Youngs 0-1 0-0 0, Ratz 0-0 0-0 0, Loftus 1-2 0-0 2, Roob 0-1 0-0 0, Kingland 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 22-55 9-11 57.

3-point goals: Minot 4-19 (McIver 0-1, Mogen 0-1, Head 2-7, Harris 0-2, Skeggs 2-7, Baker 0-1), Moorhead 4-21 (Skibiel 2-8, McKeever 1-4, Jens 1-7, Loftus 0-1, Roob 0-1). Total fouls: Minot 17, Moorhead 13. Rebounds: Minot 25 (McIver 5), Moorhead 39 (Johnson 7, Boom 7). Assists: Minot 8 (Johnsdottir 4), Moorhead 10 (Jens 4). Turnovers: Minot 12, Moorhead 11.

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Minnesota State Moorhead's Terryn Johnson goes up against Minot State during their women's basketball game Thursday, Dec. 1, 2022, at Moorhead.
Michael Vosburg/The Forum
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Minnesota State Moorhead's Mariah McKeever goes up for two against Minot State during their women's basketball game Thursday, Dec. 1, 2022, at Moorhead.
Michael Vosburg/The Forum
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Minnesota State Moorhead's Olivia Skibiel shoots on Minot State during their women's basketball game Thursday, Dec. 1, 2022, at Moorhead.
Michael Vosburg/The Forum
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Minnesota State Moorhead's Allisa Knight goes up for two against Minot State during their women's basketball game Thursday, Dec. 1, 2022, at Moorhead.
Michael Vosburg/The Forum
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Minnesota State Moorhead's Mariah McKeever goes up for two around Minot State’s Jaime Skeggs during their women's basketball game Thursday, Dec. 1, 2022, at Moorhead.
Michael Vosburg/The Forum

Peterson covers college athletics for The Forum, including Concordia College and Minnesota State Moorhead. He also covers the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks independent baseball team and helps out with North Dakota State football coverage. Peterson has been working at the newspaper since 1996.
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