The Riverland Community College Blue Devils womens’ basketball team was on the road Saturday in Willmar looking to get back on the winning track versus the Warriors of Ridgewater College, and it was the Blue Devils surging in front at the start of the fourth quarter and coming out on top in a see-saw battle from there by a score of 76-72.
Riverland trailed by as many as nine in the third quarter, but cut the deficit to three at 52-49 at quarters’ end and started the fourth quarter on a 6-0 run that consisted of a made free throw from former Austin Packer Elyise Hebrink, a 3-pointer from Savannah Longhoma and a layup from Camryn McQuery with 9:25 left to give the Blue Devils a 55-52 lead. A see-saw battle ensued from that point on, as after a layup from Longhoma gave Riverland a 57-53 lead, a 3-pointer from Ridgewater’s Abby Berskow cut the lead to one at 57-56. The Warriors took a 58-57 lead on two free throws from Ashley Prahl with 6:30 to go, and neither team was able to take a lead larger than two points until a layup and a free throw from Imani Colon with :59 seconds left to complete a 3-point play gave the Blue Devils a 72-68 lead. A 3-pointer from Ridgewater’s Josie Knutson with :31 seconds left cut the lead to 72-71, but free throws from Colon and Longhoma, plus a layup from McQuery with :15 seconds left gave the Blue Devils a 76-72 lead on their way to the win.
Colon led four Blue Devils in double figures in scoring Saturday with 24 points, McQuery tallied a double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds, Cayli Miles also added 14 points, Longhoma chipped in 13 points in the win, Hebrink contributed eight points, Turena Schultz tallied two points and Mallory Luhring scored one point for the Blue Devils, who moved to 8-4 in MCAC South Division play and 16-4 overall on the season with the win.
Riverland returns to action Wednesday night at home versus South Division rival Western Technical College, with tip-off at 5:30 p.m.