Osborne and Dennis lead NU girls

NEW ULM — Led by the scoring duo of senior Hannah Osborne and sophomore Kirsten Dennis, New Ulm took down Mankato East 69-56 on Tuesday night in nonconference girls’ basketball action at New Ulm High School.

Osborne led the Eagles (6-9) with 25 points, seven assists and three steals, while Dennis scored 24 points. Also for New Ulm, Nora Windschill had 6 points, nine rebounds and three steals, Olivia Wick had 6 points and five blocks and Bryn Nesvold added six boards and three steals.

East (7-10) was led by Mackenzie Schweim’s 23 points, while Lexi Karge added 16 points.

While the Cougars got on the board first, the Eagles were able to tie it up six times after that before taking their first lead of the night, 16-13, on a 3 by Osborne. Schweim scored the next 7 points in a row, however, to put the Cougars back in front 20-16 moments later.

The lead was brief as the Eagles went on an 11-0 run minutes later to take a 29-22 lead, with Osborne scoring 9 of the 11 points. The Eagles led 37-30 at halftime.

That Osborne-led run near the end of the first half was a big momentum swing for the Eagles, who only increased their lead more in the second half.

“What we did was we kind of took the defense out and then we swung it around,” Osborne said. “That opened up the lane so we could get in there for me to drive and also had a couple open 3s that hit.”

The second half saw Dennis lead the charge for the Eagles, with a 3 by her giving New Ulm its first double-digit lead of the night, 46-35. Moments after that 3, Osborne converted an and-one before Dennis sank another 3 to give New Ulm a 52-35 lead and force an East timeout with 12:29 left to play.

Dennis buried another 3 later to give New Ulm its largest lead of the night, 64-46. East was able to chip its deficit down to 12 with 3:07 left to play on a pair of free throws by Peyton Stevermer, but that was the closest the Cougars got.

“You just read the defense, so we can get some screens going,” Dennis said of her big second half. “If you read the defense, then you can shift to where there’s an open shot. We got a lot of good passes, too.”

The Eagles next travel to Fairmont for a Big South Conference matchup on Friday night. Osborne said that the win over East gives her and the team extra confidence for Friday’s game.

“This win kind of gets our heads up and ready for Friday,” she said. “We know we can beat Fairmont.”