MANKATO, Minn. (MSUM Athletics) – The Minnesota State University Moorhead women's basketball team rallied to cut a 25-point deficit to two in the final two minutes but the comeback fell just short as Minnesota State Mankato topped the Dragons, 76-70 in action Friday at the Taylor Center in Mankato, Minn.
The Dragons fell to 17-4 overall and 13-2 in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference while the Mavericks improved to 8-11 overall and 5-10 in the league.
Senior guard Jacky Volkert and sophomore guard Kiley Borowicz each had 15 points to lead MSUM while junior forward Madi Green had 14. Junior forward Megan Hintz had 14 rebounds.
MSUM was down 62-37 with 49 seconds in the third quarter but launched a furious rally from there, outscoring the Mavericks 31-8 to cut the lead to 70-68 with 1:41 left. Volkert drained a pair of free throws after recording a steal to cut the lead to two, the closest MSUM had been since the first minute of the game.
The Dragons had a chance to tie the game at 70 with 1:15 left but missed a three-pointer. The Mavericks hit 5-of-6 free throws and MSUM would not score again until sophomore guard Brooklyn Liegel hit a pair of foul shots with six seconds left to cut the lead to 76-70.
MSUM outscored the Mavericks 31-14 in the final frame; the Dragons hit 7-of-17 field goals while Mankato hit 1-of-8 while also committing six turnovers in the final 10 minutes. MSUM held Mankato without a field goal over the final seven minutes of the game.
The Dragons never led in the game, falling behind 10-0 in the first 3:31 of the game. They trailed by as many as 16 in the first half and were down 40-25 at the break. The Maverick lead grew to 25 in the third quarter before the Dragons mounted their comeback.
Liegel had seven points off the bench.
MSUM plays at Concordia-St. Paul at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday to conclude the weekend.
Steve d'Eustachio Stat of the Game: Tonight marks the first time the Dragons lost on back-to-back Fridays since falling 69-64 at the University of Mary on Jan. 9, 2015, then losing 76-71 in overtime at the University of Sioux Falls seven days later.