Five plays that mattered in UMary’s 78-71 win over Northern State

The University of Mary bounced back Saturday with a 78-71 road victory over Northern State despite its leading scorer in Gabbie Bohl being held to a season-low eight points. The Marauders got solid play out of junior forward Cassie Askvig and got good minutes from freshmen Kassandra Bartek, Afton Bartol and Raquel Doll.

Askvig finished with a game-high 28 points on a stellar 81.8 shooting percentage as the Marauders shot 50 percent or better from the field for the third straight game. Here are five plays that stood out above the rest in UMary’s fourth Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference win.

Jossart’s 3-pointer with 2:40 to go in the first quarter 

This game oddly started very slowly. About four minutes into the first quarter there had only been two made buckets and a pair of free throws. A win is a win and it doesn’t matter how you start, it’s about how you finish. But Jordyn Jossart’s first 3-pointer of the afternoon tied the game up at 10-10 after NSU had an early 8-2 advantage. Jossart’s long-range make was important because it started an 8-2 run for UMary to end the first quarter.

Bartol’s layup with 50 seconds left in the first half

The Marauders controlled the tempo for most of the first half and had an 11 point lead three times in the second quarter. However, the Wolves used a 7-2 run late in first half and cut UMary’s lead to four (37-33) with 1:07 to go. Bartol’s second layup of the contest put a stop to NSU’s run with 50 seconds left before the break and the Marauders took a 41-33 lead into halftime.

Bartek 3-pointer with 1:32 left in the third quarter

The Wolves wouldn’t go away and trailed 57-50 with 2:21 left in the third quarter after trailing by 14 about four minutes prior. A defensive stop and another bucket could’ve made it a two-possession game but Bartek wasn’t going to let that happen. The Oak Creek, Wis., native drilled a 3-pointer with 1:32 to play and upped UMary’s lead to 10 (60-50). On the Marauders next offensive possession, Bartek nailed another 3-pointer to give her squad a 63-50 lead. Her first 3-pointer was big, the second was the icing on the cake.

Bohl’s jumper with 9:07 to play in the game

UMary had a double-digit lead multiple times during the game against NSU but its largest lead came at the 9:07 mark in the fourth quarter. Bohl’s jumper gave UMary a 67-52 lead not even a minute into the final frame and it happened to be the Marauders only two points for the next four minutes of play.

Williams’ free throws with 30 seconds left

Free throws are one of the most important parts to a basketball game and making them down the stretch with a lead is what makes good teams great. The Wolves cut UMary’s lead to 76-69 on a Lexi Wadsworth jumper with 39 seconds left in the contest and had to foul. Two fouls later, Macy Williams found herself at the free throw line with 30 seconds left and went 2 for 2 to give UMary a 78-69 lead. Those free throws sealed the deal for Rick Neumann and company.

What did the 2008-09 UMary women’s basketball team look like?

The University of Mary is off to its best start in 10 years and have started 3-0 in Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference play for interesting enough the first time ever. In 2008-09, the Marauders started 5-1 after losing their first game of the season and finished the season 15-12. However, this year’s squad is destined for a better record, right?

The 2008-09 Roster 

Seniors: 2

Juniors: 4

Sophomores: 6

Freshmen: 3

The 2018-19 Roster 

Seniors:

Juniors: 5 (one redshirt)

Sophomores: 4 (two redshirts)

Freshmen: 8 (one redshirt)

The 2008-09 Team Stats (27 games)

FG-FGA: 675-1537

FG %: 43.9

3FG-FGA: 151-420

3PT%: 36.0

FT-FTA: 436-624

FT%: 69.9

REBS AVG: 40.0

AST PER GAME: 16.2

POINTS PER GAME: 71.7

The 2008-09 Player Stats 

Sonny Schulz: 12.9 ppg, 4.1 rpg and 1.6 apg

Anna Skala: 12.9 ppg, 8.8 rpg and 1.6 apg

Liz Sipma: 9.5 ppg and 4.0 rpg

Abby Bratlien: 8.9 ppg, 4.6 rpg and 2.4 apg

Rachel Zillmer: 8.1 ppg, 3.3 rpg and 1.1 apg

Kayla Rogers: 7.1 ppg, 3.1 apg and 2.7 rpg

The 2018-19 Player Stats (6 games)

Gabbie Bohl: 22.3 ppg and 11.0 rpg

Cassie Askvig: 15.8 ppg, 8.5 rpg and 3.2 apg

Coral Gillette: 11.0 ppg, 2.0 rpg and 1.8 apg

Tonya Dvorak: 6.0 ppg, 3.5 apg and 3.0 rpg

It’s Gabbie Bohl’s world, we are just living in it

The University of Mary won its second Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference game Friday by defeating St. Cloud State, 59-47. The Marauders shot close to 21 percent better in the second half compared to the first half to continue their winning streak to three games.

Gabbie B(allin)ohl — If Friday’s performance doesn’t land Gabbie Bohl with NSIC Player of the Week honors, I’ll write a hand-written letter to the committee. The UMary junior finished with 27 points and 19 rebounds in 32 minutes of play. Bohl also made 13 of 14 from the free throw line and added three blocks. She was a machine. Ten of Bohl’s points came in the fourth quarter when UMary outscored the Huskies 25-11 after trailing 36-34 heading into the final frame. One of the biggest differences I saw not only in Bohl’s play but UMary’s post players were that they seemed more comfortable in the second half. It was almost like they were waiting to see what SCSU’s defense was giving them before they made a move and it definitely worked out for Rick Neumann’s squad.

Free points — UMary has been pretty solid at the free throw line this season and that continued against the Huskies. The Marauders knocked down 21 of 24 from the charity stripe and Coral Gillette, Macy Williams and Jordyn Jossart finished a combined 6 of 6. This season UMary has shot 25 more free throws this season than its opponents.

Winning without the 3-pointer — Great teams can win games when the long-range buckets aren’t falling and when the Marauders 3-point threat finishes the game 1 for 7 and you still win by 12 points that has to feel good. The Marauders only attempted less than 15 3-pointers for the second time this season and made its fewest (four) in five games.

UMary Marauders women’s basketball: A solid performance captures first conference win

The University of Mary women’s basketball team opened up Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference play with a 64-58 victory over in-state rival Minot State Saturday afternoon. The win pushed the Marauders winning streak to two games as MSU (5-2) lost its second game of the year.

3-point threat: UMary sophomore Coral Gillette is a type of player that Rick Neumann’s squad wishes they had in the previous seasons. Yes, the Marauders have had 3-point shooters such as Dani Williams, Brittney Dietz, Haley Hibbs, Dani Clarke, McKenzie Foster and Kayla Schmidt  to name a few but Gillette is different. The Division-I transfer has that killer instinct on the hardwood. Fifteen of her team-high 18 points came in the second half against the Beavers. After Gillette missed her first three long range shots of the afternoon, she connected on her final five and finished 5 of 8 from 3-point land as UMary shot 34.5 percent from beyond the arc. The Bismarck, N.D., native is averaging 8.3 3-pointers per game and is on pace for close to 207 for the season. The last player to finish a season with 200-plus attempted 3-pointers was Schmidt in 2011-12 when she shot 232. Eighty-seven percent of Gillette’s field goals are coming from 3-point land and she was a huge factor in the fourth quarter against Minot State when UMary scored 18 points.

Lexie Schneider came to play: UMary freshman forward Lexie Schneider scored a career-high nine points against the Beavers and is going to be an important player in the Marauders future plans. Schneider came to play against MSU although she does have some things to work on like shooting from deep, the Hilbert, Wis., native had super efficient in 18 minutes of play. Schneider was challenging MSU defenders and beat them off the dribble a few times throughout the game. She also added nine rebounds as UMary won the rebounding battle, 40-39.

Defense on point: I really think UMary’s defense is underrated. The Marauders are sixth in the NSIC in scoring defense and have played at least one less game than every other team in the Top 5 besides Minnesota Duluth. UMary held the Beavers to 35.9 percent from the field and just 23.1 percent from the 3-point line. MSU and leading scorer Kari Clements made plenty of runs to strike back in the game, however, it was UMary’s defense that shut those runs down.

UMary men’s basketball: Poor 3-point shooting performance doesn’t stop Marauders from conference win

The University of Mary men’s basketball team shrugged off a 12.5 shooting percentage from beyond the arc and grinded out a 65-58 win over Minot State. The Marauders picked up their first Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference win of the season and extended its winning streak to three games after starting the year 0-3.

Offensive rebounding machine: With 6:55 to play in the second half Lucas Mayer grabbed an offensive rebound and quickly put the basketball up for two points to give UMary a 48-46 lead. Almost two minutes later, Mayer corralled another key offensive rebound and laid it in for another two points to give the Marauders a 50-48 lead. The UMary sophomore forward finished with six points and three rebounds (all offensive) in 21 minutes of play. The Marauders finished with nine offensive rebounds and now have recorded seven or more in every game this season. Rebound gets overlooked sometimes but grabbing offensive rebounds give your team another offensive possessions and basketball is a game of possessions. Connor Hellebust finished with a team-high seven rebounds as Matthew Kreklow added six.

Looking more mature: More than of UMary’s roster is underclassmen. Four sophomore’s and a redshirt freshman played against MSU but the Marauders looked more mature at times. Last year when UMary was in a close game with under four minutes to play, the game usually didn’t end in a positive result for Joe Kittell’s squad. But with 3:55 to go and a tied 52-52 contest, a Tommy Kubank 3-pointer, two free throws by Kreklow and a jumper by Jaylan White gave UMary a 59-52 lead with 1:25 to play and they never looked back. This team will continue to grow but after starting the season with three straight losses, these last three wins look pretty damn good.

3-pointers don’t fall again: After posting double-digit made 3-pointers in their last two games, the Marauders struggled from beyond the arc against the Beavers. UMary finished just 3 of 24 in a game where it didn’t feel like they took at many shots from long range. I really felt like all 24 shots were good, clean looks and it really helps to have Kreklow in the paint because he causes double teams and has solid enough vision to find shooters on the outside. However, shooting 25-ish 3-pointers and making less than a handful and getting a win isn’t going to be a sustainable formula moving forward.

BONUS — Should’ve been less than 58 points: UMary’s defense has been outstanding this season. They lead the NSIC in scoring defense with 56.8 points per game and have only allowed more than 60 points once this season. UMary gave 12 points to MSU that I really feel could’ve came off the scoreboard. Twelve points may seem like a lot but considering the Marauders had to double down on 6-foot-7 David Akibo a lot during the game, it left a fair amount of open looks for the Beavers shooters. Every unit is playing as a team defensively and that’s something to hang their hats on.

What We Learned: One of Many?

The University of Mary won its first game of the 2018-19 season Friday with a dominating 94-44 performance over Yellowstone Christian College. The Marauders needed this win especially for their shot confidence. Is this the win that gets UMary rolling?

Heat check — The Marauders struggled to make shots in their first three games but erupted for 47.8 percent from beyond the arc against the Centurions. Tom Kubank had one thing on his mind and that was to deliver UMary its first win of the season. The UMary senior forward finished with a game-high 20 points on 7 of 8 shooting and made 4 of his 5 3-point attempts. Kubank also added eight rebounds in 20 minutes of play. Connor Hellebust was shooting 26.3 percent from the field coming into the game shook off the bad juju and finished with 14 points on 6 of 12 shooting.

No Dennis Austin III — Dennis Austin III went down with an eye injury against Montana State University Billings on Wednesday and he didn’t re-enter the game after that. The senior guard sat out against YCC as his eye was still swollen shut, however, his energy was still there against the Centurions. He was helping the underclassmen on the sideline and seems to be really jelling with UMary.

Expanded rotation — Eleven players saw the court for 10 minutes or more against YCC, which happened because it was a blowout contest. I know scheduling is tough and not everything works the way you’d like but this game should’ve been UMary’s season opener. I’m sure Joe Kittell had his rotation made up days before the Marauders stepped onto the hardwood but in a game like this you get to see everyone play. Redshirt-freshman Justin Engg and junior Richard Brown had averaged seven minutes of play this year — the two saw more minutes against a lower level YCC team and that should’ve happened before UMary played two tough teams in Texas to start the season. They did have a positive impact on the game as they combined for 15 points on 7 of 9 shooting and nine rebounds.

Last Night in the NSIC

What We Learned: UMary rolls past Yellowstone Christian College, 113-59

The University of Mary women’s basketball team rolled through its first game of the 2018-19 season with a, 113-59 victory over Yellowstone Christian College. Here’s three things we learned from the Marauders hot start.

YCC is not NSIC talent— A lot of great things happened for Rick Neumann’s crew Wednesday night. YCC is nowhere near the talent in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Coference, however, that shouldn’t take away anything from UMary’s first victory. UMary has to show they won’t have trouble with bad teams and that’s exactly what the Marauders did inside the McDowell Activity Center.

UMary has its own big three — Gabbie Bohl, Cassie Askvig and Montana State transfer Coral Gillete is a big three that shouldn’t be taken lightly in the NSIC. Bohl scored her 1,000-career point against the Centurions and finished with a game-high 22 points on 7 of 9 shooting. The junior forward also was hot from the charity stripe and made 8 of 11. Askvig was the MVP of the game in my opinion. She was all over the court. Every big play that happened, Askvig was there. The 6-foot-2 junior finished with 18 points, 9 rebounds and 6 assists in 24 minutes. I could watch Gillete shoot and drain 3-pointers in my free time. The 6-foot-0 sophomore is going to make a barrel of 3-pointers this season. Eighteen of her 19 points came beyond the 3-point line and make an impressive 60 percent of them. A big three has been built in Bismarck, N.D., and the NSIC must take notice.

3-point turnaround —UMary is seven seasons removed from one of its most impressive seasons from the 3-point line. The Marauders shot 36.5 percent from beyond the arc in 2012-13 but dipped below 30 percent in 2016-17. However, I could see UMary getting back to its 2012-13 form this season. The Marauders banged home 18 3-pointers against YCC and converted on 50 percent of them including 9 of 16 in the first half. There’s some great shooters on this team. I highly doubt another performance like this will happen this year but one can only hope.

Last night in the NSIC:

Upper Iowa Box Score

UMary Box Score

Minot State Box Score 

What We Learned: UMary Struggles to Close Out Against MSUB

The University of Mary men’s basketball team played in its third straight road game Wednesday but couldn’t land the finishing punches on Montana State University Billings. The Marauders dropped a 56-53 non-conference contest and here’s three things we learned from the loss.

Backup point guard — Jaylan White played 38 minutes against MSBU and is averaging 36.3 minutes through UMary’s first three games. While I’m certain that White can keep this up at some point Joe Kittell is going to have to find a backup point guard who can help the team. White finished 2 for 11 last night and added six rebounds and five assists. The only other guard to come off the bench that played more than 10 minutes was freshman Trever Kaiser. The 6-foot-2 Dassel, Minn., native finished with two points of 1 of 4 shooting. It was his first action of his career.

Shooting woes — The 3-point ball has not been kind to UMary this season. Against the Yellow Jackets, the Marauders made 26.3 percent (5 of 19) of their shots from long range. In fact, that was up by 0.6 percent from the blue and orange’s season average. Senior forward Tommy Kubank leads the team in 3-point makes as he’s 6 for 21 and six other UMary student-athletes are a combined 4 for 27 through three games.

Rebounding g(od)uard —  I have zero issues with guards leading a team in rebounds but it catches me by surprise because it’s “not supposed to happen” the expert analyst’s say. Upper Iowa transfer Dennis Austin III has been playing above the rim in his first three games with UMary and it’s promising to see. The 6-foot-3 guard leads the Marauders in rebounds with 19 and White is tied for second of the team with 12. Austin III is simply just out jumping players for rebounds and while that’s fine and dandy, the big men at some point are going to have to come down with some boards.

*Bonus point — No need to hit the panic button. The lids will come off the rims and shots will start to fall. It’s regular season game three of 28 and NSIC play is still 17 days away. Make the adjustments now so when league play rolls around, it’s time to play instead of learning on the fly.

Last night in the NSIC

Southwest Minnesota State Box Score

UMary Box Score

Minnesota-Crookston Box Score 

Minot State Box Score 

UMary ready to take next step after last year’s 6-21 campaign

They say everything is bigger in Texas but that wasn’t the case for the rims in Lancaster.

The University of Mary opened up the 2018-19 season down south on Friday and Saturday and dropped two contests to Henderson State and Southern Arkansas.

Finding the bottom of the net from long range was a challenge for the Marauders as they finished 13 for 51 from 3-point land.

UMary junior guard Jaylan White said Friday before the Marauders battled Henderson State that this early season road trip was vital.

“It’s important to get the season off on the right note,” White who finished with a team-high 17 points against SAU said. “… the wins will come.”

The Marauders are coming off a 6-21 season but welcome back just about 50 percent of their scoring and four of their top 7 scorers.

Tommy Kubank, who averaged 11 points, and 4.5 rebounds on UMary’s business trip spent the offseason overseas gearing up for his senior season.

The Adelaide, South Australia native, worked out with a professional team (Adelaide 36ers) in his home city during the offseason and traveled to China with the Sydney Kings to get some more competitive basketball under his belt.

Kubank was fortunate enough to play against former NBA center Hamed Haddadi who plays for the Iranian National Team along with teams from Germany, Czech Republic and a USA squad made up of former Division-I student-athletes.

“I think these experiences really fueled me to work harder and refine parts of my game,” Kubank said. “Because I was able to compare where I was at to some of the best players in the world and it showed me I wasn’t where I wanted to be yet but gave me a lot of motivation to keep going because I held my own.”

The Marauders were picked dead last in the Northern Sun Preseason Coaches’ Poll with 17 points. The blue and orange trailed Concordia-St. Paul by 27 points for the No. 15 spot.

Along with White and Kubank, UMary will have Matthew Kreklow — who started all 27 games last season — back in uniform for his sophomore season and arguable his most important.

The 6-foot-9 forward averaged 9.2 points per game as a freshman and hauled down 4.8 rebounds. He also shot 54.3 percent from the floor — the highest on the team for players that took 100 attempts or more— and had a team-high 23 blocks.

But Kreklow isn’t the only underclassmen looking to make a splash this season. Sophomore guard Connor Hellebust will look to improve off his solid freshman year and should see time in the starting lineup this season.

Hellebust started both games over the weekend and finished with 12 points on 3 of 15 shooting.

Joe Kittell will look for contributions from North Dakota State College of Science transfer Johnnie Turner and sophomores Wyatt Carr and Lucas Mayer.

Junior transfers Evan Anderson and Richard Brown also saw minutes in the Marauders first two games of the season. However, the player everyone is excited to see play is Upper Iowa transfer Dennis Austin III.

UMary landed a starting player during the offseason in the senior guard who is familiar with the NSIC.

“He’s going to be a really key addition to our squad this year,” Kubank said about Austin III. “He’s a great dude, he knows how to play the game and he’s got a knack for making big plays.”

“He’s the kinda guy we needed to pick up to make a deep run this year and we’re all really happy he’s on board with us. More importantly he’s embraced the culture we’ve been trying to build here.”

The Marauders start 0-2 for the third straight season but will have an opportunity to break their losing streak Wednesday on the road against Montana State University Billings before their home-opener on Friday against Yellowstone Christian College.

“This year the expectation is to have a winning season,” Kubank added. “Last season was a battle night in, night out but it’s made us much stronger and determined as a group.”

“We’re optimistic as a playing group because we know that we’ve put in the work and improved a lot on where we were at last season.”

Gabbie Bohl is ready to deliver a knockout punch to the NSIC

More: ROSTER | NSIC RANKINGS 

Gabbie Bohl and the University of Mary say its first action of the 2018-19 season Thursday against South Dakota State at Frost Arena.

The Marauders surrendered a 77-46 loss but a lot of players got some meaningful playing time against a Jackrabbits team that was picked to win the Summit League.

UMary had its final exhibition contest Monday evening against Concordia College (Minn.) and dominated 67-24 before they open up the season on Nov. 14 against Yellowstone Christian College.

“Our team has high expectations to be great this year,” Bohl said a few days after being named the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference North Preseason Player of the Year said.

“The NSIC is a very competitive conference, so every night will be competitive. That’s why this conference is so fun to play in.”

The Marauders were picked to finish sixth in the preseason coaches’ poll and received one first-place vote but Bohl who averaged 18 points per game, 7.8 rebounds and 1.4 blocks believes UMary can finish higher.

“I think we are better than 6th overall,” Bohl admitted. “I hope we can reach the top by the end of the season and (be) playing for the NSIC championship.”

Rick Neumann’s squad finished 13-16 (9-13 North) last season after back-to-back years with 15 wins but UMary brings back its Top 3 scorers and four of its five starters.

However, Neumann is going to have a young bench as 12 of his 17 players are underclassmen.

“Our freshmen coming in are very talented and are quick learners,” Bohl said. “Practices are running very smoothly and they are playing like they have been in the program before so that’s been really exciting.”

This offseason Bohl worked on putting on “more healthy weight” because towards the tail end of the 2017-18 season she felt more tired and weaker.

The junior forward has been consistent at the free throw line during the last two years but her free throw percentage will hopefully improve this year. Bohl is coming off a 68.7 percent free throw performance and made 68.4 percent of the charity stripe shots her freshman season.

Receiving such a high honor before the season starts, Bohl is very humbled and she’s ready to focus on helping the Marauders improve from last season.

It’s an awesome recognition,” she added, “because our conference has a lot of talented players that are just as deserving.”

“There really isn’t a lot of pressure for the fact I don’t think about the honor as a target on my back. It’s more of a motivation to continue to work hard and put in the extra time to be better than the day before.”

The Marauders will have two home games next week before heading to the Western Washington Thanksgiving Classic on Nov. 23-24.

UMary will open up NSIC play at 3:30 p.m. on Dec. 1 against in-state rival Minot State.