Packer girls top winless Falcons

Published 11:35 pm Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Austin's Marwa Omot pulls down a rebound during the first half against Faribault Tuesday night in Ove Berven Gym. - Eric Johnson/

Having lost seven of their last eight games, the Packers weren’t about to lose to winless Faribault on senior night.

So even though they were missing two starters, the Packers found a way to top Faribault (0-22 overall, 0-15 Big Nine) 69-45 in a girls basketball game in Ove Berven Gym Tuesday.

Austin's Danielle Tschann reaches for the jump ball against Faribault's Cecilia Hake at the start of Tuesday night's game in Ove Berven Gym. - Eric Johnson/

Austin played without juniors Jenna Svoboda and Taylor Lady, who were both out with injuries. Svoboda could’ve played if needed, but Lady’s condition is still unknown.

Email newsletter signup

“We didn’t want to give them their first win,” Austin head coach Gary Peterson said. “With Jenna and Taylor out, we’re trying to find some different players to step up.

Austin did a lot of its damage on the defensive side of the ball as the Packers (9-13 overall, 6-9 Big Nine) forced 37 turnovers and held the Falcons to 21 percent shooting from the field.

“I tried to step up my game and tried to play some ‘D.’ I’m not much of a scorer, but I try to get some offensive rebounds. As a senior, I just try to keep the group going,” said Austin center Danielle Tschann, who finished with six points and eight rebounds. “This is a big win and it’s time to get going.”

Austin junior Steph Justice gave the offense a boost with 19 points, four assists and four steals and senior Babaye Oja added 13 points, eight rebounds and three steals.

“You put a ball in (Steph’s) hands and she knows what to do with it,” Tschann said. “Her and Babaye are really good when they play together.”

Austin led 40-30 early in the first half when it used an 11-0 run to make it 51-30 with 11:20 left in the game.

Faribault was within 26-20 with 2:29 left in the half, but Oja banked in a three, Merideth Fritz scored and Justice drilled a three at the buzzer of the half to make it 34-21 at the break.

Faribault 21 24 — 45

Austin 34 35 — 69

Austin's Olivia Grev drives the baseline against Faribault during the first half Tuesday night in Ove Berven Gym. - Eric Johnson/

Austin scoring: Steph Justice, 19; Babaye Oja, 13; Merideth Fritz, 12; Danielle Tschann, 6; Alex Hansen, 5; Jocelyn Sheehan, 5; Marwa Omot, 3; Mer Gach, 3; Christina Barinka, 2; Gabby Wagner, 1; field goals: 41 percent (26-for-64); three-pointers: 56 percent (5-for-9); free throws: 55 percent (12-for-22); rebounds: 41 (Oja, 8; Tschann, 8); turnovers: 28