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Mount Mercy halts Waldorf in Grand View Classic

By Matt Oliver

DES MOINES – Mount Mercy University fended off a late rally in an 85-68 win over the Waldorf College women’s basketball team during the Grand View Classic on Saturday.

“We played three good quarters,” Waldorf coach Katie Schutjer said.

The score was tied at 22-all after one quarter, but the Warriors (0-2) hit an offensive lull and managed just one point through the first seven minutes of the second quarter. They scored seven points in the second quarter as the Mustangs (1-1) built a 45-29 halftime advantage.

After outscoring Mount Mercy 23-20 in the third quarter, Waldorf trailed by 13 points. The Warriors started making a run in the fourth and pulled to within eight points, trimming the Mustangs’ lead to 73-65 with 3 minutes, 47 seconds remaining.

Nineteen seconds later, a technical foul led to three points for Mount Mercy and it was part of a 12-0 run that enabled the Mustangs to pull away.

“That was a huge momentum swing for them,” Schutjer said. “The comeback we worked hard to get then faded away.”

Senior Mackenzie Gott led Waldorf with 16 points, seven rebounds and three assists. Gott shot 50 percent, going 7-of-14 from the field.

Freshman Samantha Birkes provided 12 points and three assists for the Warriors, who received eight points apiece from freshmen Ameh Ogbemudia and Taylor Fricke. Ogbemudia pulled down six boards while Fricke grabbed four rebounds and dished out two assists.

“Samantha, Taylor and Ameh all played well,” Schutjer said.

Waldorf junior Jamerka Martin added seven points, junior Molly Greenfield scored six points and junior Jenna Quina finished with five points. Junior Miriah Carruth ended the night with four points and freshman Taylor Kurtz contributed two points.

Mount Mercy’s Jakaila Jordan dropped in a game-high 20 points.

Five players scored in double figures for the Mustangs. Makenzie Zeitler recorded a double-double, turning in 18 points and 10 rebounds. Abby Herb added 13 points, Latasha Harmon ended the game with 12 points and Ashley Dolan finished with 10 points.

Mount Mercy went 30-of-59 (50.8 percent) from the field. The Warriors shot 39.7 percent, going 25-of-63 from the floor. After shooting 9-of-29 (31 percent) in the first half, they improved to 16-of-34 (47.1 percent) in the second half. Both teams turned in identical performances from behind the arc, knocking down 8-of-22 (36.4 percent) attempts.

At the free-throw line, the Mustangs converted on 17-of-23 (73.9 percent) shots. Waldorf went 10-of-15 (66.7 percent) at the stripe.

The Warriors outscored Mount Mercy in the paint by a 24-18 margin. With a 35-32 rebounding edge, the Mustangs came away with a 15-7 advantage in second-chance points.

Both teams turned the ball over 17 times. Mount Mercy scored 26 points off turnovers and Waldorf finished with 22 points off turnovers.

The Warriors return to action against Minnesota State University (0-0) in Wednesday’s 6 p.m. exhibition game at Mankato, Minnesota. Minnesota State is receiving votes in the NCAA Division II preseason poll.