by Jonathan Covert–Morningside made it three for three against Northwestern Wednesday in the first round of the GPAC women’s tournament. It took an overtime period, but the Mustangs advanced with a 90-87 win.
During the season, the Mustangs swept the Red Raiders 76-66 at home and 78-68 at the Bultmann Center in Orange City.
The contest was a back and forth with the Mustangs leading by as many as 13 points and the Red Raiders leading by as many as four points. The teams were extremely physical and pushed each other to the limits.
The first half saw the two teams trading blows as the Mustangs ran to an 8-0 lead. The Red Raiders answered with an 8-4 run to cut the lead to four. The teams traded buckets to head to the end of the first quarter with the Mustangs leading 22-17.
The second quarter was a defensive clinic. The teams combined for 36 points; Morningside found their biggest lead in the quarter at 37-24. However, the red Raiders carried the momentum to the locker room with a 14-0 run before half to lead 38-37 at the break.
The second half continued the back and forth as the teams each had a dominant quarter. The Mustangs outscored the Red Raiders 24-17 during the third quarter. Halfway through the third, the score was knotted at 50. The Mustangs pushed an 11-6 advantage the rest of the way to be up 61-55.
The fourth was a nail-biter, amplified by the rivalry of the game. With a 72-68 Mustang lead, the Red Raiders were not discouraged, pushing the game to a 76-76 tie at the end of regulation.
Overtime saw more solid Mustang defense as the Mustangs held the Red Raiders scoreless the first two minutes of the overtime period. That pushed the advantage to 81-76. Ultimately the Mustangs sank clutch free throws leading to the 90-87 win
The Mustangs travel to Hastings, Nebraska to take on the #4 Broncos in the GPAC semifinals at 3:00pm on Saturday.
photos by Abby Koch