March 25, 2009

Final Four Highlights: Alaska Anchorage v. Minn. Mankato 

San Antonio, Texas-The #4 Minnesota State Mavericks defeated the #2 Alaska-Anchorage Seawolves 83-60 to advance to the NCAA Finals. The win brings MSU's record to 31-2, while UAA ends its season with a 32-4 record.

"We worked hard all year and talked about the possibility of playing in the championship game, and here we are" interim head coach Pam Gohl said.

The Mavericks set a quick pace early on as they connected on their first six shots from the field to build a 17-6 lead with 13:48 left on the clock. Senior guard Heather Johnson chipped in 10 points during that span, including two shots from beyond the three point line.

Minnesota State and Alaska-Anchorage would match each other throughout the rest of the first half scoring 21 points each to bring the first half score to 38-27 in favor of MSU. Johnson led all scorers with 16 points, while senior guard Jo Noreen added nine more points for the Mavericks.

MSU maintained its double-digit lead throughout most of the second half as it held an 11 point lead at 58-47 with less than nine minutes left in the game. The Seawolves then managed to pull within seven points to Mavericks at 58-51.

The floodgates opened after this as the Mavericks responded with a 9-0 to extend their lead to 67-51 and never looked back as they closed out the game with an 83-60 win.

Johnson led all scorers with 25 points, while shooting 5-of-7 from behind the three point line. With her five three point field goals Johnson has tied Kelli Freeman for the most three point field goals made in a career at MSU with 241.

"Yesterday I stood a lot," Johnson said. "Today I moved better off the screens to get some better shots."

Noreen added 16 points and five rebounds while senior forward Alex Andrews recorded 15 points. Senior center Teresa Parker chipped in on the defensive end with five rebounds and three blocks.

The duo of junior guard Tiffany Moe and sophomore guard Andrea Walsh added a combined 15 points, 10 assists and five steals to the Mavericks cause.

Minnesota State will take on the winner of the #24 Delta State/#14 Franklin Pierce game Friday, at 7 p.m.