Slow Start Dooms Royals

Slow Start Dooms Royals

Article by Chris Harris, Devils Lake Journal Sports, January 20th, 2019

Sometimes, deficits are just too far out of reach — even when nearly scoring a 30 point quarter.

The Lake Region State College women's basketball team lost to Bismarck State College Sunday afternoon from the Sports Center 78-75, falling short of a hellacious comeback and despite the 30-point, nine rebound performance from Jordyn Worley.

"I was the one who screwed up and stayed in the press too long," said Royals head coach Danny Mertens. "We got ourselves into too big of a hole and I put all the blame on myself."

The Royals trailed by 15 at halftime, then fell behind by 20 at the end of three quarters. But as been common practice, the Royals dominated the final 10 minutes of the game, outscoring the Mystics 27-8 to put themselves in position to steal it.

With 4:09 left, two free-throws and a made basket by Dani Schwanke trimmed Bismarck State College's lead to eight. Two Worley free-throws nearly two minutes later and the Royals (14-7, 2-2 MonDak) trailed by six. The six point Mystics advantaged remained until the final 37.6 seconds when Trae Murray's free throw crept the Mystics lead up one to 78-71.

On the ensuing possession, Schwanke drew a foul and makes both free throws to make it a five point game. A defensive stop gave the Royals the ball back and Schwanke drew a second foul on as many possessions, this time on a 3-point attempt. Schwanke made two of three, however the Royals got the steal a chance to send the game into overtime but the final three attempt is missed.

"I'll never take a timeout there," said Mertens on the final chaotic seconds. "Everyone is scrambling. … We've gone over those things and we still got a good look to tie it."

Worley had nine rebounds and four assists to her go along with her 30 points, going 8-for-9 at the free-throw line.

"(Jordyn) had a day. She's the one who kept us in it. She was apart of 38 of our 75 points so had a well of a day. And she's capable of that," Mertens said.

Schwanke finished with 15 points and Maara Nelson had 11 points and eight rebounds for the Royals who shot 37 percent from the floor, 4-of-26 from beyond the arc.

Murray scored 23 points for the Mystics (14-3, 3-1).

It was a five point advantage for the Mystics midway through the first quarter but an 5-0 spurt across 30 seconds pushed their lead to 10. A 3-point play by Murray to start the second period put BSC up 35-15.