Men and Women’s Basketball both pull out thrilling wins at home

{gallery}1112/i11/bball{/gallery}Steven Wooldridge / Oredigger

Both the men’s and women’s teams pulled out thrilling victories in the opening weekend of the basketball season Saturday 11/19 at Lockridge Arena.

The Lady Orediggers opened the night with a physical battle, grinding out a 65-64 victory in overtime against the University of Minnesota-Duluth.

The game was a back and forth fight, featuring seven ties and seven lead changes. True freshman Taylor Helbig scored six of her game leading 19 points in overtime and Angie Charchalis added 11 as Mines won for the first time in this season’s four games.

The Lady Orediggers were up by as many as 10 in the second half following a Helbig three pointer, but could not hold onto the lead, immediately falling victim to a 14-5 UMD run that put the game within one at 41-40. Neither team could pull away after that, and the score remained within two points for the rest of the contest.

Trailing by two with 14 seconds to go, Minnesota-Duluth’s Emma Van Winkle gathered an offensive rebound and put in the tying bucket to bring the score to 52-52. A last second, game-winning effort by Charchalis missed at the buzzer to send the game into overtime.

Mines scored the first five points of overtime, and hung on late for the win. Helbig converted on four critical free throws in the final minute to seal the game.

In the second half of the doubleheader, the men held off a resilient South Dakota School of Mines and Technology team for a 70-66 victory.

Playing in just his second collegiate game, redshirt freshman Brian Muller hit eight three pointers en route to a game high 28 point performance.

Mines jumped to an early lead, pulling ahead 19-10. For the second straight night, the Orediggers scored at least 40 points in the first half and led their cousins from The Mount Rushmore State 42-35 at the break.

Although the first half score did not reflect it, the Orediggers dominated play through the first 20 minutes. Despite this, SDSM’s Hardrockers fought back to take a five point lead, 57-52, with under nine minutes left.

Mines responded, as Muller hit three three pointers and scored 11 of the Orediggers’ final 18 points to hold off SDSM. Senior Dale Minschwaner finished with 14 points and Brett Green added 13 as Mines moved to 2-0 on the season. The Orediggers play again Friday, hosting Sioux Falls University at Lockridge Arena.

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