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Lady Jays knock off No. 1 Rochester in women's hoops

The Minnesota West Lady Jays knocked off the No. 1 NJCAA Division III women's basketball team in the nation Wednesday night as they defeated Rochester 75-68 at the Center for Health & Wellness.


The Yellow Jackets had beaten the Lady Jays by 31 points last month in Rochester, but Minnesota West – ranked No. 3 nationally -- was undeterred and hung tough after Rochester rallied from a 12-point deficit to tie the game. Olivia Hayenga had another big night for Minnesota West, which improved to 20-7 on the season and 9-2 in MCAC South play, with 28 points, 19 rebounds and five assists.


Rochester got off to a strong start and led 19-12 in the waning seconds of the first quarter before Hattie DeVries beat the buzzer with a 3-pointer. The Lady Jays then kept playing well in the second quarter and went into the locker room at halftime with a 36-30 advantage.


The Yellow Jackets, now 18-3 overall and 9-1 in the MCAC South, fought back, but Minnesota West made more shots down the stretch. Other key contributors were DeVries and Skylla Peterson, who each had 14 points, and Audrey Drapeau, who added 10 points and eight assists, including a couple of particularly flashy passes in the second quarter.


The Lady Jays played their last home game of the season Wednesday, marking the final game for Hayenga, DeVries, Drapeau, Dasia Potter and Wiconi UsesArrow at the Center for Health & Wellness. Next is the regular season finale Saturday at Western Technical College.


In the men’s game, Minnesota West was ahead 31-28 at the half but wound up losing 70-50. Rochester made 17-of-25 -- or 68% -- of its shots in the second half compared to 8-of-25 for the Bluejays.


Teddy Collins Jr. led 13 points and Karasharo Ojulo had 10 for Minnesota West, now 4-21 overall. The Yellow Jackets, ranked 12th nationally, are 16-8 

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