March 14, 2019 12:51 AM
After falling behind by 16 in the first eight minutes, #3 Becker (26-8) nearly lost a 14-point second half lead until sophomore Courtney Nuest drained a three-pointer with under three seconds to play for a 68-67 win over Marshall (21-8) on Wednesday afternoon at Maturi Pavilion on the campus of the University of Minnesota in the MSHSL Class AAA quarterfinals.
Click the video box on this page to see extended highlights of the Class AAA State Quarterfinal between Becker and Marshall
Nuest finished with 18 points on 7-of-10 shooting including 3-of-5 from the arc. She was set-up for the game winner by sophomore Julia Benston, who passed out of a double-team from the right wing to an open Nuest on the left wing. Bengston had 15 points, seven rebounds, three assists and three steals and made 2-of-5 from the arc for a Becker squad that buried 10 of its 19 three-point attempts (52.6%).
The Bulldogs head to the state semifinals against defending 3A state champion Robbinsdale Cooper on Thursday, March 14 at 2 p.m. at Williams Arena. Becker, like Cooper, is seeking a second state title for the program having last won the championship in 2007 and in its third overall appearance.
Marshall, competing in its 11th state tournament, will play Austin in the consolation semifinals on Thursday at 4 p.m. at Gangelhoff Center on the campus of Concordia University, St. Paul.
Things were looking good for the Tigers to spring the upset early in the game, seeking a third state championship in program history, jumping out to a 19-3 lead in the first eight minutes of play.
Becker put the pressure on, though, responding with nine straight points before eventually claiming the lead late in the half. The Bulldogs responded to the 19-3 deficit by outscoring Marshall 23-4 in the last 9:41 of the first half for a 26-23 halftime lead.
The margin stayed close early in the second half but Marshall wasn’t able to get closer than two (35-33, 13:45) when Becker opened up the lead as the Bulldogs used an 18-7 spurt to claim their largest lead, 56-42 with 6:59 remaining.
Marshall came charging back with senior guard Kaia Sueker sinking the game-tying three-pointer (59-59) with 2:43 to go, the game’s first tie. Sueker finished with 14 points including 3-of-4 from the arc, adding three assists and three steals.
After a defensive stop, sophomore forward Jordyn Hilgemann put the Tigers back in front with a steal and layup on the break. She finished with 26 points including 3-of-4 from deep, adding six rebounds and five steals. She scored six points in the last two minutes of play including a free throw to give Marshall a two point lead with 11 seconds to go.
In the final three minutes, the game would be tied three times and feature four lead changes including the game-winner.
In all, the teams combined for 42 turnovers with 23 committed by Becker, leading to Marshall’s decisive 28-9 edge in points off turnovers but Becker had a 16-9 advantage on the offensive glass leading to a 19-7 margin in second chance scoring.
Updated: March 14, 2019 12:51 AM
Created: March 13, 2019 06:17 PM
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