Despite five made baskets in the second half, Lake Region State College got finds away to claw out a Mon-Dak victory over North Dakota State College of Science 66-64

With sickness plaguing the Lake Region State College women’s basketball team, it’s best to describe the Royals 66-64 win over North Dakota State College of Science on Sunday, Jan. 26, as their collective “flu game.”

“There are a lot of kids under the weather so much so that we didn’t practice yesterday because we got the old flu bug,” said Royals head coach Danny Mertens. “During halftime, I had three girls puking while I was talking. That’s just show you how much guts they have.

“They wanted it more.”

The Royals (14-9, 4-2 MonDak) trailed by eight going into the final period after the Wildcats ended the third quarter on a 11-3 run. But consecutive 3-pointers by Stephanie Miller and Jordyn Worley cut the lead to two, 54-52, with 7:51 remaining. Two free throws by Nikki Metcalfe with 3:53 left on the clock put the Wildcats ahead by five. It was their last field goal of a two minute scoring drought that proved costly.

Jadyn Pollert connected on two free throws with 3:13 left to pull the Royals to within one. On their next possession, Worley’s 3-pointer found the bottom of the net that gave the Royals the lead at 62-60. Leaf, Pollert and Miller combined to go 3 of 6 from the free-throw line down the stretch to clinch the victory.

Leaf finished the game with 16 points on 6-for-7 from the charity stripe and had five assists. Miller scored 13 points and had five rebounds.

“We got down eight and I thought that was going to break our back but they responded well,” Mertens said. “I have to give my hats off to Maddy Leaf, she had a whale of a game and I hope it gives her a lot of confidence.”

Kayla Bryne scored a team high 17 points for the Royals who won despite shooting just 7 of 25 in the second half. They managed to outscore the Wildcats 20-10 in the fourth quarter.

“It was a big win. We needed this,” Mertens said.

Kate Carlson had a double-double, scoring a game high 22 points and pulling down 11 rebounds. Emily-Kate Parker finished with 15 points, going 5-for-6 from beyond the arc after making four 3s in the first half. Parker’s 3 with five seconds left in the first quarter gave the Wildcats (16-5, 3-3) the lead at the quarter break and Carlson’s basket with 1:02 on the clock gave the Wildcats the 36-34 lead going into halftime.

Box score

Chris Harris can be reached at charris@devilslakejournal.com.