Metro State nets first tourney win
DURANGO, Colo. -- No. 10 Metro State did not allow a field goal in the final 11:20 of the first half and went on to win 70-56 against Winona State (Minn.) on Friday at the NCAA tournament in Durango, Colo. It was the first NCAA tournament win in school history. The Roadrunners were previously 0-4.
For the season Metro State improved to 28-2 overall, while WSU ended its season at 21-9.
Alyssa Benson scores two points in the first half.
The Warriors hung with the Roadrunners for the first 10 minutes of the game. WSU hit five of its first six shot attempts in the game and held a 15-12 lead with 11:20 left after a jumper by Natalie Gigler. That was the final field goal of the first half for the Warriors, who were outscored 19-3 over the final 9 minutes as Metro State led 31-19 at halftime.
Jasmine Cervantes carried the team early in the first half and led all scorers with 10 points at halftime, hitting her second and third 3-pointers of the season in the first 4 minutes of the game. Seven different Roadrunners scored in the first half and Metro State outrebounded WSU 29-17.
Cassondra Bratton buried her first 3-pointer of the season on Metro State's second possession of the second half as the Roadrunners stretched their lead.
WSU chipped the lead down to six points at 39-33 with 13:51 to play. The Roadrunners used a 9-0 run to push their lead back to 16 at 56-40 with 6 minutes left and they led by as many as 19 points in the final minutes.
Cervantes led all scorers with 16 points and had five rebounds and five assists. Bratton had her fifth double-double of the season with 12 points and 10 rebounds, hitting all five of her free-throw attempts. She also had four assists and a pair of steals.
Candice Kohn and Alyssa Benson joined Cervantes and Bratton in scoring in double figures with 12 and 10 points each, respectively. Kohn hit 4-of-9 from the floor. Metro State also got seven points from Tawny Drexler and six points from Brandi Valencia. Her sister, Kristin Valencia, had nine rebounds and four points.
Metro State shot 37.9 percent from the floor and made just 5-of-19 (.263) from the outside. The Roadrunners held a 50-33 rebounding advantage and held WSU to just 35.2 percent shooting. Each team committed eight turnovers.