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UMD women handle intercity test from St. Scholastica, 71-51

It was all in good fun, and for the advancement of both programs, that UMD's women's basketball team whipped St. Scholastica 71-51 Monday night at Reif Center on the St. Scholastica campus.

It was all in good fun, and for the advancement of both programs, that UMD's women's basketball team whipped St. Scholastica 71-51 Monday night at Reif Center on the St. Scholastica campus.
The best tribute for the Division III Saints came from UMD coach Karen Stromme, who left top scorer Kate Madrinich on the court until only 3:51 remained, and the 'Dogs were up by 22 points.
"I wasn't comfortable we were going to win the game," Stromme said. "Scholastica is going to have a nice team, I can see that. We didn't play them last year, but we usually try to schedule them. It's a great night for area kids and for fans to get a chance to see both our teams on a Monday night."
Madrinich scored 27 points in a dominant performance. The senior from Hibbing was virtually unstoppable, scoring on 8 of 12 shots, mostly from underneath, and sinking 11 of 13 free throws when the Saints did manage to slow her down. She was backed by Mary Barker, another senior, who scored 19 points, all of them from the floor while hitting 8-of-12, including 3-3 from 3-point range. Kim Toewe led the Bulldogs with nine rebounds, although the junior from Grand Rapids hit only one of nine shots.
But St. Scholastica battled gamely, without the experience or depth of the Bulldogs, to say nothing of being without UMD's scholarships as a Division III school. But freshmen made a distinct impact for the Saints. Allison Sanderberg from Denfeld and Jackie Plesha, a quick guard from Biwabik, led the way among the five freshmen in their lineup. Sanderberg, a lanky 5-feet, 1-inches with a soft touch, scored 17, while Plesha added 11 and junior Cathy Renner from Embarrass added 10. Emily Sanderberg, Allison's twin sister, came off the bench and played well at guard.
UMD, now 6-3, opens fire in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference when Southwest State comes to Romano Gym Friday night, and Wayne State follows for a 3:30 p.m. game on Saturday. St. Scholastica (3-4) goes to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan this weekend to play Finlandia and Michigan Tech, then comes back to Minnesota to play at St. Thomas next Tuesday.
"It was a good game, and we know we're not on the same level as UMD," said Saints coach Stacy Deadrick. "They're one of the best teams in Division II, but our teams have a lot of players who get along really well. And for us, just to play at that level was good. You can't stop players like Barker and Madrinich.
"I coach for experience, not just to win," Deadrick said. "This should go a long way toward preparing us for our conference, because we'll never see a team as good as UMD again."
UMD opened with an 8-2 jump, as Barker connected on two shots from 3-point range. But Allison Sanderberg hit a two and a three, and Renner scored to close the deficit to 10-9. At that point, however, the Bulldogs took command, running off 12 straight points by hitting from every direction.
UMD took a 38-31 lead by halftime, and Madrinich, with 17, and Barker, with 15, accounted for 32 of the 38 points. UMD hit 12 field goals to 10 for the Saints in the first half, but the key was that the Dogs hit 4-of-6 from 3-point range, while the Saints were 1-for-11 from outside the line during the first half.
After giving the Saints the first basket of the second half, UMD ran off the next 10 points -- seven of them by Madrinich -- and when it got to 52-27, Stromme might have been the only one in Reif gym that was unsure of the outcome. While Allison Sanderberg spent a lot of time on the bench in the second half, Plesha contributed seven of the Saints next 11 points, then Sanderberg came back in to score eight of their next 10, with Plesha getting the other basket.
"Adding freshmen like Allison Sanderberg and Jackie Plesha make them immediately better," Stromme said. "Scholastica played very well and exploited some things we've got to work on. They were a little quicker than we were, and it took us a while to do the things we do best."

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