The M State women’s basketball team celebrated a 73-62 victory over Riverland Community College for the NJCAA Div. III Region XIII title game Saturday.
The Spartans jumped out to an early lead as they scored the first nine points of the game. M State’s dominance continued in the quarter as they held a 24-9 before the second. Riverland battled back into the game before half but M State would hold a double-digit lead 44-31 at halftime.
In the third quarter, the Spartans maintained their 13-point lead as they held a 57-44 lead entering the fourth quarter. The Blue Devils cut the lead to single digits in the fourth, but the Spartans held off the surge to claim the win.
“I feel absolutely blessed to have the opportunity to coach this classy group of girls," Spartans head coach Jodi Holleman said. "They always played with a ton of heart and hustle and showed so much improvement throughout the season. I would like to thank president Carrie Brimhall, dean Matt Borcherding, athletic directors Jason Retzlaff, and Steve King for all their hard work to make this season happen. This season was all about mental toughness and resiliency and this Spartan team definitely showed that the entire season."
Sabrina Fronning led the Spartans with a double-double of 18 rebounds, 14 points, eight assists and seven steals, earning her the championship game MVP. Teammate Jayna Gronewold led M State in scoring with 23 points, while Emily Larson also had a double-double with 16 points and 10 rebounds. Kalista Aamot chipped in 12 points from the bench for the Spartans.
The Blue Devils were led in scoring by Cayli Miles (22), Imani Colon (16) and Jade Love (15).
Holleman, a first-year head coach for the Spartans, was also recognized as the Region XIII Coach of the Year.
M State end their season with a record of 7-7, including a 4-0 mark against the Blue Devils.