HAYS, Kan. (MSUM Athletics) -- The Minnesota State University Moorhead women's basketball team's record-setting season came to an end on Saturday as the Dragons fell to No. 3 Fort Hayes State University, 71-60, in the NCAA Regional Semifinal in front of a packed Gross Memorial Coliseum in Hays, Kansas.
"I am proud of our effort, and we've had a terrific year," said MSUM head coach Karla Nelson. "There were a lot of achievements this year by this group."
The Dragons ended the season with an overall record of 27-7—setting a record for wins in a season. Fort Hays State improves to 32-1 on the year.
"Our group…I am super proud of them," said Nelson. "It's emotional because we lose a very special senior in Jacky Volkert."
Senior guard Jacky Volkert will end her career as the winningest Dragon in school history with a career record of 95-24. Volkert set the school record for career assists with 514 and broke her own single-season assists record with 161 in her senior campaign. Volkert's career has featured four NSIC North Championships and four seasons with 20+ wins.
MSUM was 41.0 percent (25-of-61) from the field compared to 45.3 percent (24-of-53) for FHSU. The Tigers outrebounded the Dragons 37-34.
Volkert led the team with 20 points and six assists. Sophomore guard Kiley Borowicz recorded 13 points to go along with six rebounds. Junior forward Megan Hintz had 11 points and six rebounds. Redshirt freshman forward Peyton Boom contributed five rebounds and seven points.
Fort Hayes State opened the game with a four-point run before a three from Volkert cut the lead to 4-3 with 8:37 on the clock. Less than a minute later Volkert nailed a jumper to give MSUM the early 5-4 lead. A quick-thinking pass from Volkert resulted in a layup from Green to bring the Dragon lead to 9-6 with 5:35 remaining in the quarter. The Tigers would pull within one before a Volkert layup brought the score to 11-8 with just over three minutes to go. With 2:18 on the clock Fort Hayes retook the lead, but a three pointer from Volkert gave MSUM the 14-12 lead with two minutes to go. The Tigers would go on a six-point run to take an 18-14 lead going into the second quarter. Volkert had 12 points in the quarter and was 5-of-5 from the field.
The Tigers got off to a five-point run in the second quarter before a Volkert jumper had MSUM trailing 23-16 with 7:49 remaining. With 5:36 on the clock, Boom dropped in a layup to cut the Fort Hays lead to 25-21. Volkert hit a jumper to slow the Tiger momentum as MSUM trailed 29-23 with just under two minutes to go in the half. Fort Hays State responded with a jumper of their own before Boom dropped in a layup and hit the extra point as FHSU led 31-26 with 1:10 on the clock. Borowicz would hit a long, arching three at the buzzer to cut the Tiger lead to 35-29 going into halftime.
Volkert had 18 points in the first half to go along with two assists. Boom recorded five rebounds and five points in the opening half.
Borowicz picked up where she left off and nailed a three to cut the deficit to 36-32 with nine minutes to go in the quarter. Volkert recorded her 20th point of the night as MSUM would trail 38-34 with 6:15 on the clock. The Dragons would capitalize on a Tiger foul as Boom dropped in a layup to bring the score to 42-36 with under four minutes remaining in the quarter. FHSU responded with back-to-back free-throws, followed by two long three pointers to claim a 14-point lead—their largest of the night. A three from Borowicz ended the run as MSUM would trail 50-39 with 2:05 remaining in the quarter.
The Dragons would capitalize off a Tiger turnover as Hintz hit a jumper to bring the score to 50-41. Hintz would follow that up with a three pointer as the Dragons trailed 50-44 with just over one minute to go. Volkert would get the ball to Green as the junior hit a three at the buzzer to cut the FHSU lead to 54-47 going into the final quarter.
Hintz opened the fourth quarter with a layup, assisted by Borowicz, to pull the Dragons within five. Green fooled a defender to sink a jumper as MSUM would trail 54-51 with 8:54 remaining. A steal from Hintz and a long pass to Green resulted in a layup to bring the score to 56-53 with 7:17 on the clock. The Tigers scored six-straight to go up 62-53 with under five minutes to go. A layup from Hintz halted the run as Fort Hays State would lead 62-55 with 4:10 to go. It would be Hintz again as the junior recorded her 11th point of the night to bring the score to 64-57. The Tigers would hit their 15th and 16th free-throws of the night to go up 68-57 with 1:28 left to play. MSUM could not overcome the deficit and fell by a final score of 71-60.
"Being a Dragon means everything to me right now," said Volkert. "These past few weeks I have realized that it's more than just a game, and I am so thankful for the opportunities that I've had through basketball."