The season series between the Hastings College and Morningside women’s basketball teams provides a case study in the simplicity of the sport — that is, whichever team makes more shots wins.
The first time the two teams met on Nov. 23, 2013, the Mustangs’ offense was on fire, connecting on 50 percent of its field goals to earn a 76-49 win.
In their second game Jan. 18, the only real difference statistically in the Broncos’ 64-55 win was that they hit 40 percent from the field while Morningside finished with a 30 percent average.
That same theme played out in Saturday’s rubber match, the Great Plains Athletic Conference semifinals, as No. 4 Hastings College (26-7, 16-5) had nearly triple the amount of shots as No. 6 Morningside (27-5, 17-4), but hit just 19-of-72 field goals in a 65-55 loss.
Hastings started the game missing its first 13 shots from the floor, as Jamie Van Kirk ended the drought with 11:07 left in the first half with a 3-pointer. The final 26 percent scoring average was the Broncos’ worst shooting performance of the season.
“We couldn’t make shots. We missed a bunch of close ones,” said Hastings College head coach Carrie Hofstetter, whose team will still qualify for the NAIA national tournament despite not earning an automatic berth with either the regular season or post season conference championship. “And, obviously, when Morningside is shooting free throws and we’re having to shoot jumpers, it’s a different deal.”