The women’s basketball team locked up its second consecutive MIAC championship with a 53-44 victory against Concordia-Moorhead Saturday at Schoenecker Arena.
The No.15-ranked Tommies (22-1 overall, 20-0 MIAC) ran their winning streak to 22 games with Saturday’s win, and freshman forward Anna Smith said she is pleased that the team has lived up to its expectations.
”We have lots of talented girls,” Smith said. “It is good we can prove that we can win the games when we need to and get a title like that.”
The game was also a “pink out,” an event held in support of breast cancer awareness. Both teams sported pink breast cancer shirts during warm ups and on the bench. Fans were also encouraged to wear pink.
“It is the idea that we are making a difference against breast cancer,” coach Ruth Sinn said. “We have so many women that are fighting that fight with such courage.”
The first half was an offensive struggle between the Tommies and Cobbers. Though the Tommies’ offense was lacking, it was their defense that kept them in the lead.
“We were too passive offensively,” Sinn said. “At least we had a defense.”
Sophomore forward Taylor Young sparked the St. Thomas offense with 10 points.
In the second half, the Tommies lost their lead with 7:28 left to play, but Young scored seven points during a game-closing 18-5 run in the last 6:50.
With minutes remaining in the game, junior guard Kellie Ring made a key 3-pointer to take back the lead and control of the game.
“Our team really needed (that basket),” Ring said. “They kicked it out, and it was wide open.”
Saturday’s win against the Cobbers is the first time the Tommies have defeated them in the new Schoenecker Arena in three attempts.
The Tommies held a 43-23 rebounding advantage and were able to defeat the Cobbers despite shooting just 33 percent from the field.
The team hosts Bethel on Wednesday, Feb. 15.
Laura Landvik can be reached at email@example.com.