The Bethany Lutheran post player finished the night with 38 points and 19 boards to lead the Vikings to a 73-60 win.
MORRIS, Minn.– The University of Minnesota Morris women’s basketball team gave UMAC leaders Bethany Lutheran College everything they could handle in the first half on Friday night, but the play of Hanna Geistfeld (38 points and 19 rebounds) was too much for the Cougars to overcome as BLC pulled away in the third quarter and finished the night with a 73-60 victory. The loss sends UMN Morris to 5-10 (3-2 UMAC) on the season, while the Vikings improve to 10-6 (5-0 UMAC).
After Ella Van Kempen opened the game with a driving layup to put Minnesota Morris ahead, Bethany Lutheran responded with a quick 7-0 run. However, the rest of the first quarter went back and forth with six lead changes before the Vikings ended the period holding a 23-20 advantage.
The Cougars used a 10-0 run early in the second quarter to take a 30-25 lead on the visitors. Jay Kwateh started things off with a fast-break layup, followed by a three-ball from Jadyn Sondrol that knotted the score. Lexus Eagle Chasing swished a three to give Minnesota Morris the lead and Sondrol extended it to five with another fast-break layup. The pressure defense of the Cougars kept Bethany Lutheran off balance and helped them maintain the lead even as shots stopped falling late in the half. UMN Morris went to the break with a 36-33 lead.
Geistfeld had 13 by halftime, but proved unstoppable in the second half. The Bethany Lutheran senior opened the scoring in the third quarter and had the first six points of the half for the Vikings before an Alexis Cloyd three-pointer gave BLC the lead once again at 42-40. Minnesota Morris was twice more able to pull within two points, including on a tough finish inside from Justine Day, but Bethany Lutheran was rolling and an 11-2 run followed. After a Sara Kottke three-pointer in the final seconds, BLC went to the fourth with a 60-49 edge.
Whenever the Vikings needed to score in the fourth quarter, they found Geistfeld. She ended with nine of the 13 points in the final quarter for Bethany Lutheran and her efforts maintained a Bethany Lutheran lead that was only cut to single-digits on one occasion.
Kwateh ended as the leading scorer on the night for Minnesota Morris with 12 points and seven steals. Eagle Chasing finished with 10, while Sondrol added eight and had a team-high five rebounds.
Minnesota Morris is back at it on Saturday at Jim Gremmels Court, hosting Martin Luther College at 3 p.m.