Dragons sink school record 16 3-pointers in 85-64 rout of MSU

Sean Arbaut/Minot State athletics Minot State's Kristal Flowers (40) puts up a shot during a women's college basketball game Saturday at the MSU Dome.

One of the only ways the Minot State women’s basketball team thought it could upset Minnesota State Moorhead Saturday was to take the Dragons’ shooters out of the game.

That strategy didn’t work.

Moorhead, the preseason favorite to win the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference, set a program record for 3-pointers made, knocking down 16 of 29 in a 85-64 rout of the Beavers at the MSU Dome. Moorhead’s previous record was set Jan. 24th, 2015 against Bemidji State. The 85 points by Moorhead are the most the Beavers have allowed this season.

“That’s the tale right there. Making 16-of-29 threes is unbelievable,” MSU coach Mark Graupe said. “But, if you see what we did, we put in a special defense, a junk. We played a triangle and two to take their shooters away. We just didn’t do a very good job because we still left them open and that just should not happen. You’re supposed to be faceguarding without looking at the ball to limit them from touching it, and yet they touched it. We felt one of the only ways we had a chance tonight was to take away their shooters, and we sure didn’t.”

For the second straight night, the Beavers had a slow start, as Moorhead (5-1, 2-0 NSIC) held a 22-13 lead after the first quarter.

MSU responded with a solid second quarter, outscoring the Dragons 20-19 and taking a 41-33 deficit into halftime. The Beavers had a 27-21 rebound advantage at the half, with Kristal Flowers leading the way with 11 boards.

The third quarter wasn’t one for the highlight reel for MSU, as Moorhead shot 53.3 percent in the quarter and made 5-of-7 3-points attempts. MSUM had a 68-48 lead after three, outscoring the Beavers 27-15 in the quarter.

Kiley Borowicz led Moorhead with 23 points, finishing 8-of-12 from the floor and 6-of-8 from 3-point range. Cassidy Thorson chipped in 18 points and was 6-of-12 from the 3-point line. Lauren Fech added 14 points for the Dragons, who shot 46.2 percent from the floor and outrebounded MSU 38-37.

Flowers led MSU with a double-double, scoring 10 points and grabbing 14 rebounds. Senior forward Holly Johnson led the team in points with 15 and also recorded five rebounds and dished out seven assists. Junior gurad Maddie Wald was the only other MSU player in double figures with 11.

The Beavers shot 37.3 percent from the floor and made 4 of 17 3-pointers.

MSU (4-3, 1-2) is back in action at 6 p.m. Friday in a road contest at Augustana University, the preseason number three in the NSIC.

“I made a statement on the radio that I’d do a cartwheel if we could win one out of the next five,” Graupe said. “That included these two over the weekend and the next three. This schedule is just nasty. We’re not expected to win any of the next five, so that’s why we said if we can just get one of them, that would be amazing.”

Garrick Hodge covers Minot State athletics, the Minot Minotauros and high school sports. Follow him on Twitter @Garrick_Hodge.