The Lake Region State College Women's Basketball team traveled on the road to Thief River Falls, MN to take on Northland CTC. Northland came into the game ranked #4 in NJCAA D3 and having defeated the Royals earlier in the year in Devils Lake, 72-58.
However, this game would not be like the last one. There was something different about the Lady Royals squad during this game. Call it a different gear coming off their tough competition in Las Vegas, call it rested legs, call it whatever you want but there was no doubt the Lady Royals basketball team played on a different level. There was no slow start for LRSC during this one, they jumped out to an early 17-7 lead in the 1st quarter. In the 2nd Northland would cut the Lady Royals lead to 9 at 27-18 but that is as close as they would get until 5 minutes left in the game when they closed the lead to 56-50. Lake Region would finish the game on a 7-4 run to close out the game winning 63-54.
Defense was the key to victory during this one as the Lady Royals locked up Northland. They held them 16 points under their average of 70 points per game. Head Coach Danny Mertens echoed that thought, "Absolutely defense was the key tonight. Our girls did a fantastic job in that aspect of the game again. We are going to win a lot of basketball this year if we can continue to hold teams in the 50's and low 60's for the rest of the year." When asked about his team finding a different gear tonight and if he believed that the trip to Las Vegas played a role in that he replied, "I 100% believe that us going to that Las Vegas tournament and playing 2 ranked teams and a 3rd with a winning record helped us find another level tonight. If we want to continue our tradition of excellence, we need to challenge ourselves as a program by playing top competition. We might not have won those over break but it helped us win tonight and will continue to help us win moving forward."
With the win, the Lady Royals move to 11-7 on the season. They will be back in action Sunday, January 7th at 1pm when they will open up MonDak Conference play against Bismarck State College.