FOREST CITY – The Waldorf College women's basketball team came ready to battle when facing Haskell Indian Nations University for the second time this season.
The Indians (17-5, 6-2) are currently receiving votes in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) Division II poll and narrowly escaped with a 68-63 win over the Warriors (3-20, 1-7) in Friday's Midlands Collegiate Athletic Conference (MCAC) showdown.
"We played to our strengths," Waldorf coach Katie Schutjer said. "We had a great inside game."
Gott scored 20 points and pulled down 13 rebounds. The 5-foot-11 junior forward from Oskaloosa went 69 percent from the field on 9-of-13 shooting.
Schmit, a 5-foot-9 sophomore forward from Britt, provided 15 points, 12 boards and two assists. She shot 4-of-10 (40 percent) from the floor and finished 7-of-8 (88 percent) at the free-throw line.
Waldorf sophomore Connor Thompson chipped in with 11 points.
The Warriors led the entire first half, stretching their advantage to as many as 12 points. Waldorf shot a scorching 61 percent (17-of-28) from the field in the opening half and maintained a 38-37 edge at the break.
Haskell outscored the Warriors 31-25 in the second half to pull out the win in the down-to-the-wire contest. The Indians were fresh off last Saturday's 76-60 home win over No. 15 College of St. Mary (17-6, 5-3).
Haskell's Jenine Coriz erupted for a game-high 27 points, shooting 10-of-15 (67 percent) from the floor and 4-of-7 (57 percent) from 3-point range.
Keli Warrior added 17 points and nine rebounds for the Indians, who defeated Waldorf 78-54 one week ago at Lawrence, Kan. It was a challenge for Haskell this time around as Coriz and Warrior lifted the Indians in the hard-fought win.
"They had a couple players step up and we couldn't find a way to stop them," Schutjer said.
Senior Brittany Robinson scored six points and dished out a team-high five assists for the Warriors. Sophomore Jenna Quina closed out the night with four points and six boards, helping Waldorf to a 46-31 rebounding advantage.
Nelsen led Waldorf with two steals and sophomore Mikaela Vega contributed four assists.
The Warriors outscored Haskell in the paint, 30-28. Waldorf came away with a 16-11 advantage in second-chance points.
For the game, the Warriors shot 24-of-55 (44 percent) from the field and 4-of-14 (29 percent) from behind the arc. They went 11-of-14 (79 percent) at the charity stripe.
"Overall, we shot well and shot free throws well," Schutjer said.
The Indians went 25-of-67 (37 percent) from the floor and 6-of-25 (24 percent) from outside while going 12-of-16 (75 percent) at the foul line.
Waldorf committed 23 turnovers, which led to 19 points for Haskell.
"We had too many turnovers, which is ultimately what hurt us in the ball game," Schutjer said.
The Warriors generated 11 points off the Indians' 10 turnovers.
Waldorf hosts No. 12 Oklahoma Wesleyan University (21-2, 7-1) on Saturday at 3 p.m. The Eagles saw their 13-game winning streak snapped by St. Mary in Friday's 86-71 loss at Omaha, Neb.
Oklahoma Wesleyan isn't shy from 3-point range. The Eagles shot 50 percent from the field and went 17-of-32 (53 percent) from downtown in last Saturday's 96-53 win over the Warriors at Bartlesville, Okla.
"Oklahoma Wesleyan shoots it outside very well," Schutjer said. "They are tough to guard on the perimeter. We will really have to extend to make sure we can pressure and cover their perimeter play."