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Lady Warriors hoops top Central Lakes

Ridgewater's Annie Winter drives to the basket past Central Lakes' Hannah Lemberg during the second half of the Warriors' 66-59 victory on Wednesday at Ridgewater College. Tribune photo by Tom Larson

WILLMAR -- The Ridgewater women's basketball team didn't hit many shots, but the Warriors made them when it counted and defeated Central Lakes 66-59 on Wednesday night at Ridgewater College.

The Warriors rode a 12-0 run midway through the second half to take a 56-46 lead, then hit free throws down the stretch when Central Lakes closed within two with three minutes to play.

"It definitely was a game of spurts," said Warriors head coach Carrie Ogdahl, whose team won its MCAC Southern Division opener and is 5-8 overall. "We had that run and we knew (Central Lakes) would get on one, too, and they did at the end. But I think the difference is we had more heart and more energy at the end."

The Warriors won despite shooting just 26 percent from the field and just 19 percent from the 3-point line.

But Ridgewater forced Central Lakes into 18 turnovers -- twice the number the Warriors made -- and limited the Raiders to just 30 percent shooting from the field. Ridgewater held a five-point edge in points off turnovers, and their 34-19 advantage in offensive rebounding helped the Warriors score eight more second-chance points.

"It was kind of the same thing was us: shooting," Ogdahl said. "The game come down to free throws for both teams. Alicia Koenen hit some huge shots for us and we made the free throws when we needed them."

Koenen led the Warriors with 22 points and she also had 4 rebounds, 3 assists and 5 steals.

Shantel Kelly helped Ridgewater maintain a healthy rebounding advantage (61-54) with 10 boards, and she also scored 16 points.

Annie Winter had 10 points, and Mikell Melius had 9 points, 7 rebounds and 3 steals. Lynsey Runkle finished with 3 points, 7 rebounds and 6 assists.

"It's a big win for us, at home," Ogdahl said. "Now we have to grab a couple more, but the (Southern Division teams) are all tough. I told the team to forget about (the overall record). Now, we're 1-0 and we have to build from there."

Ridgewater 66,

Central Lakes 59

Central Lakes (0-1 6-8) 32 27 -- 59

RIDGEWATER (1-0 5-8) 31 35 -- 66

CENTRAL LAKES - 17-57 FG (0-8 3-pt); 25-35 FT; 54 rebounds; 19 fouls ... Scoring: Linsey Roos 15, Lena Montano 1, Betsy Helmeke 3, Caitlin Robinson 6, Nikki Pearson 7, Elizabeth Mattson 12, Emily Weber 1, Jalyn Lamb 9, Hannah Lemberg 5 ... 3-point shots: None ... Rebound leaders: Roos 8 ... Assist leaders: Pearson 3 ... Steal leaders: Roos 1, Robinson 1, Pearson 1

RIDGEWATER - 22-85 FG (5-26 3-pt); 17-24 FT; 66 rebounds; 25 fouls ... Scoring: Lynsey Runke 3, Mikell Melius 9, Anne Winter 10, Cameo McNeley 4, Shantel Kelly 16, Alicia Koenen 22, Bobbie Uecker 2 ... 3-point shots: Koenen 3, Winter 2 ... Rebound leaders: Kelly 10, Melius 7, Runke 7 ... Assist leaders: Runke 6 ... Steal leaders: Melius 3