The Minnesota West Lady Jays wrapped up their national basketball tournament experience this past weekend by placing fourth.
Up against host team and No. 4 seed Rochester on Saturday afternoon in the third-place game, the Yellow Jackets built an 11-point halftime lead and continued to stretch their advantage over the second half on their way to an 84-60 win. Minnesota West and Rochester had split their two previous meetings this season, but it was the home team who took control Saturday over a Lady Jays squad that was undoubtedly tired as a result of playing its fourth game in four days. Rochester, meanwhile, enjoyed a first-round bye in the tourney.
Tia Murray, who was named to the all-tournament team, once again led Minnesota West in scoring and rebounding with 19 points and 10 boards. Emily Breske contributed 13 points and Madisyn Huisman added 10 for the Jays, who concluded their season with an overall record of 19-14.
Prior to Saturday’s third-place contest, Minnesota West took on Hostos in a semifinal game Friday in the National Junior Community College Athletic Association Division III tournament. The Jays entered the final quarter with a nine-point edge, but Hostos outscored Minnesota West by 16 over the final 10 minutes and won 74-67. Murray had 15 points and six rebounds, while MacKenzie Post had 12 points and five assists and Dannyn Peterson contributed 12 points as well as six rebounds. Macie Werdel was the Jays’ leading rebounder with seven.
In Saturday’s night national championship game, it was top-seeded Owens beating Hostos, 65-56.