s0518 BC-BKW-NCAADII-Alaska-A 1stLd-Writethru 03-25 0400
SAN ANTONIO — Heather Johnson scored 25 points, including 15 on 3-pointers, to lead Minnesota State, Mankato to an 83-60 victory over Alaska-Anchorage in the NCAA Division II women’s semifinals Wednesday night.
Johnson hit her first five shots and was 8-of-10 from the floor in 33 minutes. She hit 5-of-7 3-pointers.
Anchorage had turnover troubles for the second night in a row. In the quarterfinals on Tuesday, the Seawolves turned the ball over 31 times against Clayton State, but still won by seven points. Anchorage (31-4) committed 26 turnovers against MSU, including 14 in the first half.
Joanne Noreen scored 16 points for Mankato (31-2) and Triton grad Alex Andrews added 15. Rebecca Kielpinski led Anchorage with 14 points.
The Seawolves trailed by seven points with 6:24 remaining in the game, but Mankato outscored Anchorage 25-9 the rest of the way.
Anchorage had trailed by as many as 19 points before halftime but cut that in half when Tamar Gruwell hit a 3-pointer to pull within 43-35 1:36 into the second half.
The Mavericks then scored three straight baskets, including a 3-pointer by Andrews, to put Mankato ahead 50-35 with 15:54 left in the game. The Mavericks went on a 7-0 run to take a 65-51 lead with five minutes remaining.
Mankato, which shot 52 percent from the floor, has won all but one of its five tournament games by double digits. The closest any team has come was the eight-point victory MSU had over Michigan Tech in a quarterfinal game Tuesday night.