BHSU women go to OT for sixth straight victory

Black Hills State University’s Megan Engesser and Danica Kocer apply pressure defense to a Colorado Mines opponent. Pioneer photo by Jason Gross

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SPEARFISH — Black Hills State University outlasted Colorado Mines 73-71 in overtime of a Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference women’s basketball contest Monday evening at the Donald E. Young Center and extended its winning streak to six games.

“We had a stop and a score, and that kind of set the tone,” Yellow Jackets’ head coach Mark Nore said of an overtime session in which Black Hills State claimed an 11-9 scoring edge.

Colorado Mines (4-2 in the conference, 5-2 overall) led 17-16 after the first period. A 23-7 scoring edge in the second half propelled Black Hills State to a 39-24 halftime advantage.

“We played with so much energy,” Nore said in describing that second-quarter defensive success. “We just need to maintain that energy we lost in the second half.”

The Yellow Jackets led 52-44 after three quarters, but Colorado Mines used Denali Pinto’s inside basket to claim a 56-54 lead miday through the fourth quarter.

Ashley Davis netted two free throws with 1 minute 14 seconds left to bring Black Hills State into a 60-60 tie. The visiting Orediggers led 62-60 on Ashley Steffeck’s layup.

Morgan Ham of Black Hills State was intentionally fouled with 26 seconds left. She converted two free throws to tie matters at 62, and the Yellow Jackets retained possession to play for the final shot. The attempt missed the mark, forcing a five-minute overtime session.

Ashlee Beacom brought Black Hills State into a 66-66 tie when she scored from inside. Megan Engesser’s 3-point field goal with 1:13 to go presented the Yellow Jackets with a 69-66 lead.

“Megan’s (Engesser) 3 was huge, and the way we finished with some free throws,” Nore said of the extra session. “It was also our ability to get stops.”

Two Racquel Wientjes free throws with 9.4 seconds left kept Black Hills State ahead 73-70. That enabled the Yellow Jackets to withstand a Colorado Mines free throw for the final margin.

Ham’s 20 points enabled her to lead Black Hills State (6-1 in the conference, 6-1 overall). She surpassed the 1,000-point mark for her college career.

Engesser and Wientjes added 15 and 13 points, respectively, for the Yellow Jackets. The team finished 23 of 26 from the free throw line.

Steffeck collected 21 points for Colorado Mines, who also received 20 points from Pinto.

Black Hills State is scheduled to travel to Colorado Mesa on Saturday, Jan. 9, in the weekend’s lone game. Tipoff from Grand Junction is set for 5:30 p.m.

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