If there was ever any doubt about Minnesota West winning its opening game at the NJCAA Division III Women’s Basketball Tournament on Wednesday afternoon, it was erased in just about four minutes.
The Lady Jays went on a 16-2 run to start their game against Northampton and retained control throughout as they moved in Thursday’s quarterfinal round by pounding the Spartans 85-57 in Rochester. Minnesota West will play Monroe College-Bronx at 4 p.m. today as it looks to make its second consecutive trip to the national semifinals.
Olivia Hayenga led the Lady Jays with 28 points and eight rebounds while also contributing four assists and three steals. Hayenga was sharp from the field, as she made 10-of-12 field goal attempts – including two-of-two from beyond the 3-point arc.
Dasia Potter contributed 17 points off the bench for Minnesota West, which is now 28-4 on the season. Dannyn Peterson also had a strong offensive game, making 7-of-11 shots while scoring 15 points.
Minnesota West had a 26-14 lead after the first 10 minutes and led 45-23 at halftime after Hayenga’s putback of a missed shot at the buzzer. The Lady Jays were up 65-35 after three quarters and led by as many as 35 in the fourth before closing out the 28-point win.
Brooklyn Scheitel-Taylor passed for eight assists, grabbed six rebounds and also recorded six steals for fifth-seeded Minnesota West, which limited No. 12 Northampton to 32.3% shooting from the field.