After storming back to take the lead in the second half the Missouri S&T women's basketball team ran out of steam down the stretch, falling to Minnesota Duluth 83-70 Friday at the Gale Bullman Multi-Purpose Building.
The Lady Miners fall to 1-1 overall. It was the season-opener for the Minnesota Duluth Bulldogs.
Both teams are to be in action again at the Bullman Building on Saturday, as Minnesota Duluth is to play Pittsburg State at 10:30 a.m. and the Lady Miners are to take on Arkansas-Monticello at 6 p.m.
S&T outshot the Bulldogs from the field 54 percent to 46 percent on Friday. However, Minnesota Duluth nailed 11 three-point field goals and took advantage of 22 S&T turnovers to build double-figure leads in both halves.
"We had a great (second-half) comeback to (take the lead)," said Lady Miner head coach Alan Eads. "Then we started our old habits; we quit rebounding and...again...turnovers."
S&T led by as much as five points over the first seven minutes of play. A three-pointer by senior guard Toni Knar gave S&T a 12-7 edge at the 13:29 mark of the first half.
However, the Bulldogs responded with a 12-2 run. And a jumper in the lane by 5-6 junior guard Alyssa Kerkoff at the 10:52 mark gave Duluth a 19-14 advantage.
The Bulldog lead would grow to as much as 10 points the rest of the half, when a free throw by Taylor Meyer made it 41-31 with 38 seconds remaining.
S&T trailed at intermission 41-33.
After Bulldog 5-7 junior guard Danielle Flood opened the second half scoring with a jumper, the Lady Miners began a surge that would completely wipe out the deficit.
Over the next 8:50 of play S&T outscored Duluth 21-10. And a Knar jumper off the left baseline at the 11:54 mark gave the Lady Miners a 54-53 edge.
That lead didn't last long, however, as S&T was outscored 28-10 over the next 9:43. A three-pointer by 5-10 senior guard Megan Lueck with 2:11 left gave the Bulldogs their largest advantage, 81-64.
Junior forward Mia Wesley paced S&T with 22 points and six rebounds while senior forward Karli Sample had 14 points, three assists and two steals and Knar 12 points and three steals.
Five players scored in double figures for Duluth, led by 5-11 senior forward Katrina Newman and 6-2 senior center Hannah Rutten with 16 points each. Rutten also grabbed 12 rebounds.
"We've got guards who made three, four, five turnovers...we can't have that," Eads said. "We didn't handle their pressure well. It was a very disappointing performance the last six or seven minutes."