NEW ULM - Defense wins games while offense sells tickets is a famous saying often heard in sports conversations everywhere.
The Martin Luther College women's basketball team employed a tenacious, swarming defense to defeat Crown College 68-30 Saturday afternoon in an Upper Midwest Athletic Conference game.
MLC opened the game scoring the first four points on two free throws and a lay-up by Leah Nass.
Crown battled back and tied the game at 5-5 with 13:55 left in the first half.
Both teams exchanged baskets to keep it close.
Nass put the Knights ahead for good when she sank a jump shot to give it a 9-7 lead.
MLC went on a 5-0 run to build its lead to 18-10.
Both teams used full-court pressure for most of the game. The result was both teams missing shots and causing turnovers.
Crown was trying its best to score, but the MLC defense hounded every player for the opposition every time it touched the ball.
MLC went on a 10-2 run to close out the first half and it led 28-12 at the break.
The Knights scored the first 11 points to start the second half and built its lead to 39-12.
MLC took advantage of Crown's misfortunes and never looked back, continuing its pressure defense and an up-tempo offense. Some times, the Knights used a full-court pressure defense; at others they used a half-court pressure defense.
MLC's biggest lead was 57-19 with 8:06 left to play.
"We worked hard," MLC coach Larry Czer said. "We had to play for 40 minutes."
He credited Crown's Jody Mundt with tightening the Knights' defense.
"She (Mundt) is a good player, and we needed to extend our defense," he said.
Mundt led Crown with 12 points.
Three players scored in double figures for MLC. Hannah Hackbarth led the Knights with 14 points, Johannah Crass scored 12 points and Leah Nass scored 10 points.
The Knights shot 50 percent for the game (28 of 56 shots) from the floor and they hit 63 percent from 3-point range.
MLC (6-12, 4-3) hosts Bethany Lutheran College (5-12, 3-3) at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday.