NEW ULM - Defense might win games, but lack of offense doesn't do much to kickstart a victory dance, either.
The New Ulm Eagles girls basketball team appears to have the ingredients for some defensive success, but they haven't scored more than 27 points in a game this year.
Tuesday night, they dropped to 0-5 with a 65-25 loss to the Willmar Cardinals, shooting just eight field goals in the game, none of them back-to-back.
"We're struggling offensively," New Ulm coach Matthew Dick said. "Our timing's off. It's going to take time. When the shots don't fall, it's hard to maintain the defense."
But it was the defense that kept the Eagles in the game the first nine minutes, with the Cardinals holding just a 9-8 lead after a hoop by New Ulm's Molly Shaul. The Eagles offense was also hindered by 13 turnovers in the first half, although Willmar only converted three of them into points.
By the time the game was 13 minutes old, the Cardinals were up 19-9 and went into halftime up 32-13. Briana Sieve was the main scorer for New Ulm, putting up eight of the 13 points.
While the Eagles cut down on turnovers in the second half, from 13 to eight, Willmar made New Ulm pay for every miscue. The Cardinals came out firing in the second stanza, taking an insurmountable 49-18 lead with 11:51 left in the game, nailing four 3-pointers in the first 10 minutes of the half.
A lay-up by the Cardinals' Anne Dunham moved the Willmar lead by another 10-spot, to 62-21, with five minutes left in the game. The Eagles had three field goals in the half, with four points from Hunter Ahlness and a 3 by Alley Grejtak.
Sieve led New Ulm in scoring with eight points. The Eagles resume action at 7:30 p.m. Thursday night with a South Central Conference matchup in St. James.