Lady Royals grind out 58-53 win over No. 3 Northland

Lady Royals grind out 58-53 win over No. 3 Northland

Worley scores 17, Miller adds 16 as they pace Lake Region State College in the victory over the Pioneers.

Lake Region State College, despite being down for the majority of its game against NJCAA Division III's third ranked Northland Community & Technical College, the Lady Royals kept it close enough for one final push. And it came over the final three minutes, 42 seconds.

The Royals outscored the Pioneers 9-2 in that stretch to come away with the 58-53 victory Wednesday night at the Sports Center, defeating NCTC for the second time this season.

"It was a real gutsy performance and I didn't know how we were going to play," said Royals head coach Danny Mertens. "Just to grind out a win, it's a good deal."

The Royals, who not only had to overcome a night in which they shot just 30 percent from the field, but they had to overcome jet lag. LRSC's flight from Phoenix was cancelled, leaving the team stranded at the airport for over 20 hours. The cancellation caused them to arrive back in Devils Lake Wednesday morning.

"We kind of played like we were beat. So I told them (heading into the fourth quarter) we're right there. You got to dig deep and find it," Mertens said.

The Royals (11-5) who trailed by five going into the final 10 minutes, was down 51-46 until a three-pointer by Jordyn Worley cut the deficit to two with 5:20 remaining. The Royals tied the game after a Jadyn Pollert basket with 3:42 left on the clock and Stephanie Miller's free throw at 1:28 gave the Royals the go-ahead point.

Worley finished the game with 17 points and eight rebounds, Miller added 16 points and five rebounds and Maara Nelson finished with eight points and nine of the Royals 20 steals.

Brooke Heggie scored a game-high 18 points to pace the Pioneers (8-3).