Tensaie torches Lake Region in 96-51 blowout

Laurie Cren (22) reaches for a low five from Ivane Tensaie.

Seven straight victories has the NDSCS women’s basketball team flying high, especially after crushing Lake Region State College Monday, Nov. 15 by a score of 96-51. Ivane Tensaie remained matchup proof in a 33-point outing that included nine made three-pointers.

Tensaie has been the talk of the town after earning Mon-Dak Conference Preseason MVP at the Buster Gillis Tip-Off Classic. The freshman firestarter is filling up the stat sheet with averages of 23.1 points, 5.7 rebounds and 5.0 assists, but it was the inside game of NDSCS that complemented Tensaie extremely well in the easy win.

The four-headed monster of Arthel Massaquoi, Laurie Cren, Audrey Zenzen and Maile Hunt combined for 43 points on 74 percent shooting. Efficiency from all areas of the floor makes the Wildcats a dangerous team to defend. Pick your poison, so to speak, because shooting guard Ambah Kowcun also contributed 15 points and five assists and A’Iyana Jones added 10 assists and five boards.

“Anything we can get inside is fantastic. Arthel averaged 13 points and eight rebounds for us last year and she’s putting in double-doubles almost every single game,” NDSCS Head Coach Adam Jacobson said. “To get our freshmen, Hunt and Zenzen, to contribute like that, it adds another element for us to play inside-out or outside-in. Those kids are talented, we got lucky in the recruiting process and they were a little overlooked, so they have a chip on their shoulders.”

NDSCS is operating with a shallow bench, eight active players to be exact. Last weekend at Williston State, the Wildcats were outscored 42-40 in the second half after building a 50-30 lead. Making the Lakers labor to 51 points Monday was a welcoming sign for Jacobson and his staff that they can pull through until the team’s health turns the corner.

“I think we gave in a little bit on defense at Williston. I challenged them to really focus on that aspect, to continue playing defense regardless of the score and to really buy in. We played with a lot more intensity and consistency,” Jacobson said.

Jacobson pointed to the high character of this ‘Cats team as a big reason for its 7-0 start.

“We have a really good group of girls on and off the floor. We have a lot of girls who have really good GPAs, they do the right things when nobody’s looking and really get along with each other. As a coach, I can push them and they’re very coachable,” Jacobson said.

NDSCS will continue to grind it out against opposing teams while a number of players adhere to health and safety protocols.

“This program is truly built on toughness and having that chip on your shoulder. First and foremost, how tough are you? If we get some tough kids that also know how to play, that toughness will make up for any deficiency they may have,” Jacobson said.

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