March 14, 2009

Mankato, Minn. - The fourth-ranked Minnesota State basketball team defeated the MSU-Moorhead Dragons 59-39 to advance to the NCAA Central Region Finals for the second consecutive season. The wins brings the Mavericks record to 28-2.

This is Minnesota State's third trip to the NCAA "Sweet Sixteen" with its other appearances coming last season and in the 1985-86 season.

The Mavericks stormed right out of the gate as they opened an 8-0 lead in the first four minutes of the contest. Minnesota State continued to set the pace as it held a 10-point lead at 18-8 with 9:47 left in the half.

The Dragons managed to close within four of the Mavericks using an 18-8 run to bring the first half score to 26-22.

As they did in the first half, the Mavericks opened the second half firing on all cylinders as they re-established their double-digit lead at 36-24 behind a three point shot from senior guard Heather Johnson.

Minnesota State continued to apply the pressure as it extended its lead to 20 at 49-29, with 9:32 left in the half and never looked back as it finished the game with a 59-39 win.

Johnson led all scorers with 17 points, while senior guard Jo Noreen chipped in with 11 points and five rebounds. Senior forward Alex Andrews posted nine points, seven rebounds and a career-high six blocks.

Minnesota State hosts #7 Fort Lewis in the NCAA Central Region Finals Monday, at 7 p.m. This will be the first meeting between the Mavericks and the Skyhawks.