Schmitt goes for 38 and 17 in quarterfinal
The thought of being one of four teams to play just a single game at the Region 6 tournament didn’t sit well with TGU senior Mattie Schmitt.
Therefore, the 5-foot-11 forward did something about it. Quite a bit to be more specific.
Schmitt poured in 38 points and grabbed 17 rebounds-both game highs-and the Titans defeated Our Redeemer’s Christian School, 58-55, on Monday at the Minot Municipal Auditorium.
“Weight’s off my shoulders,” Schmitt said. “I can sleep at night. That’s the biggest thing coming into the region tournament, we all wanted to play three games instead of playing one and being done.”
Schmitt scored 11 of TGU’s 17 fourth-quarter points, including the final four to assure District 11’s top seed at least two more games. Schmitt’s final basket gave the Titans a 56-54 lead and her final two free throws put TGU (19-4) in front by three with 5.5 seconds left. ORCS freshman forward Morgan Olson’s 3-pointer at the buzzer was off the mark.
“She’s going to be the go-to person,” TGU coach Malcolm Marcus said of Schmitt. “She had a couple big baskets at the end and two big free throws as well.”
The fourth quarter featured seven ties and three lead changes, the last coming on Schmitt’s last bucket. The Knights had a couple of chances in the final minute to tie the game and force overtime, but couldn’t convert at the free-throw line. ORCS (11-12) had hit 10 straight from the charity stripe before missing three of its final four.
It looked like a blowout in the making early as the Titans grabbed a 25-9 lead with five minutes remaining in the first half. ORCS held a 5-4 advantage before TGU went on an 18-2 run. Schmitt was responsible for 12 of her team’s points during that stretch.
“We knew it was going to be tough trying to stop Mattie,” ORCS coach Kory Nelson said. “There’s no way of doing that. One of our goals was to limit her to just her average, which we didn’t do and for sure keep everyone else from scoring their average. I thought we did a pretty good job of that.”
Schmitt entered Monday’s game averaging 20 points per contest. She had 19 by halftime.
But the Knights made a game of it, ending the first half on an 11-0 run capped off by a 3 by freshman guard Lauren Hendrickson to cut TGU’s lead to 25-20. ORCS went 4-for-4 from behind the arc in the third quarter, the fourth giving the Knights a 40-37 lead. Olson tallied 18 points in the third quarter, knocking down three treys. She finished with a team-high 31 points.
“We were playing pretty good basketball and then we got a little bit complacent,” Marcus said. “It seemed like we got a little tired late in that second quarter. Give (ORCS) credit, they fought back and didn’t give up. We gave them new life and they took advantage of it.”
The Titans held a 45-30 advantage on the boards and a 26-7 edge on the offensive glass. The rebounding margin allowed TGU to take 23 more shots than the Knights. Schmitt (37 shots), nearly matched ORCS’ shot total (44). Schmitt was the only Titan in double figures. Angela Anderson tallied eight points and grabbed eight rebounds.
Defensively, TGU forced ORCS into 29 turnovers.