The University of Mary women’s basketball team started the second half in a shooting slump against the Minnesota-Duluth Bulldogs on Friday night.

The Marauders were looking for somebody — anybody — to make a play and inject some life into the team.

Sophomore Kelsey Peltier provided that spark when the Marauders needed it the most. Peltier and U-Mary ground out a 63-53 Northern Sun victory at the McDowell Activity Center, avenging a 71-61 loss from earlier in the season.

The Duluth men picked up a 64-55 victory over U-Mary in the second game of a doubleheader.

The U-Mary women grabbed a 30-23 lead at halftime but opened up the second half with a drought and didn’t score for more than 7:30.

Duluth knotted the score twice, the second time with 11:06 remaining.

That’s when the Marauders answered and broke out of the doldrums with a 12-2 run. Peltier’s hustle play saved a rejected shot from teammate Shaunna Knife.

Peltier followed it up with back-to-back 3-pointers. She closed the run at 7:57 to give U-Mary a 45-35 lead.

“We were in a shooting funk,” said Peltier, a 5-foot-8 guard from Bottineau who contributed six points. “When I came off the bench, I missed my first two 3s. I couldn’t have hit water if I fell off a boat.”

Guard McKenzie Foster contributed a key play when she was fouled on a 3-point attempt from the left wing. Foster netted all three attempts from the foul line.

Once the Marauders took the lead, they hung on to it. They made 7 of 8 free-throw attempts in the final 2:13.

Ali Collins was U-Mary’s lone double-digit scorer with 12 points. Katrina Newman led the Bulldogs with 23 points and 14 rebounds.

Duluth’s defense forced 21 U-Mary turnovers. The Bulldogs also dominated the boards 55-44, collecting 31 offensive caroms. The Bulldogs, however, hit just 17 of 74 attempts from the field for 23 percent while U-Mary hit 18 of 49 shots for 36.7 percent.

“We did handle their pressure better than last time,” U-Mary coach Rick Neumann said. “We were more composed. They are a rough, physical team. They haven’t shot the ball well, but they get up a lot of shots because they go to the glass. We held them to 53 points, and that is good, considering they got 31 offensive boards. I don’t know whether to laugh or cry.”

The Marauders have won five of six games. They moved ahead of Duluth in the Northern Division standings at 8-5 while the Bulldogs dropped to 7-6.

U-Mary entered the contest a game behind Northern State and St. Cloud State, tonight’s opponent.

DULUTH (53): Katrina Newman 7-20 9-12 23, Hannah Rutten 3-12 1-2 7, Alyssa Kerkhoff 0-7 1-4 1, Courtney Doucette 2-13 3-5 7, Kaiya Sygulla 0-6 1-2 1, Megan Lueck 0-3 0-0 0, Jessica Newman 4-7 1-1 11, Josephine Salmon 0-2 0-0 0, Taylor Dillenger 0-0 0-0 0, Taylor Meyer 0-1 0-0 0, Abbie Whitney 1-3 1-2 3. Totals 17-74 17-28 53.

U-MARY (63): Shaunna Knife 2-7 2-4 6, McKenzie Foster 2-4 3-3 9, Shanara Clark 2-4 0-0 4, Ali Collins 4-13 3-5 12, Laura Petersen 0-5 6-6 6, Taylor Luke 1-2 0-0 3, Lindsey Sand 1-2 5-6 7, Kelsey Peltier 2-3 0-1 6, Kaitlyn Haag 2-6 0-0 4, Brittney Dietz 2-3 2-3 6. Totals 18-49 21-28 63.

Halftime: U-Mary 30, Duluth 23.

3-pointers: Duluth 2-20 (J. Newman 2-4, K. Newman 0-3, Rutten 0-1, Kerkhoff 0-2, Doucette 0-6, Lueck 0-3, Salmon 0-1), U-Mary 6-16 (Foster 2-4, Peltier 2-3, Collins 1-3, Luke 1-1, Knife 0-2, Sand 0-1, Haag 0-1, Dietz 0-1). Rebounds: Duluth 55 (K. Newman 14), U-Mary 44 (Collins 8). Assists: Duluth 8 (Sygulla 3), U-Mary 12 (Knife 5). Steals: Duluth 12 (K. Newman 3, Sygulla 3), U-Mary 4 (Collins 3). Turnovers: Duluth 14, U-Mary 21. Fouls: Duluth 20, U-Mary 23. Fouled out: Duluth, Sygulla; U-Mary, Collins. Technical fouls: None.

Records: Duluth 7-6 NSIC, 10-7 overall; U-Mary 8-5, 13-6.

Duluth 64, U-Mary 55

The Marauders started slow and fell behind

8-2 early in the contest. U-Mary managed to knot the score at 11 with 14:19 to play on a 3-pointer by Brandon Tyler. After that, the Bulldogs were in command the rest of the way and rattled off a 10-0 run to go up 21-11 with 7:44 to go.

U-Mary couldn’t seem to recover from a sluggish first half.

“The way we came out in the first half, our energy was awful,” U-Mary coach Jevin Budde said. “We didn’t have enough fight in the first 20 minutes. Offensively, we had a handful of bad possessions. We had shots that were contested early in the shot clock that we settled for. We had some bad turnovers in the first half and take away our defensive energy, it was not good to see.”

The Marauders showed a spurt in the second half with an 11-4 run, started by Mike Johnson’s nifty reverse layup.

Marc Musungayi added two dunks. Alex Dorr converted on a three-point play with 13:12 remaining to narrow the deficit to 41-39.

But the Marauders wouldn’t get any closer. Duluth answered with a three-point play from Jake Hottenstine with 12:18 to go and Peter Crawford netted a 3-pointer with 11:40 remaining to give Duluth a 47-39 lead.

“It comes back to us on the defensive end,” Budde said. “In the first half we weren’t helping each other out at all. It was one guy for himself. In the second half, we helped each other out. It was a team effort with everybody digging in and guarding. Everybody had more energy in the second half, but it was too much to come from behind.”

Four players scored in double digits for Duluth. Hottenstine paved the way with 21 points. Brett Ervin added 16, Peter Crawford 13 and Reece Zoelle 10.

Musungayi was the Marauders’ leader with 20 points. Johnson added 10.

U-Mary dropped to 2-11 in the conference and has lost seven straight and 10 of its last 11.

DULUTH (64): Brett Ervin 7-12 1-4 16, Austin Pohlen 0-1 0-0 0, Reece Zoell 3-7 2-4 10, Jake Hottenstine 7-15 7-9 21, Jordan Reetz 1-4 1-2 4, Peter Crawford 4-6 4-5 13, Calahan Skogman 0-2 0-0 0, Dylan Rodriguez 0-3 0-0 0, Kristofer Jackson 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 22-50 15-24 64.

U-MARY (55): Alex Dorr 2-9 1-1 6, Marc Musungayi 9-12 2-4 20, Josh Turner 3-8 0-0 7, Mike Johnson 4-7 0-0 10, Jalen Jaspers 1-4 0-2 2, Noah Stewart 1-1 0-0 2, Justin Ledger 0-1 0-0 0, Brandon Tyler 3-7 0-0 8, Blake Maslonkowski 0-1 0-0 0, Kevin Jensen 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 23-51 3-7 55.

Halftime: Duluth 32, U-Mary 24.

3-pointers: Duluth 5-14 (Zoelle 2-4, Ervin 1-1, Reetz 1-2, Crawford 1-2, Hottenstine 0-2, Skogman 0-2, Rodriguez 0-1), U-Mary 6-20 (Johnson 2-3, Tyler 2-6, Dorr 1-3, Turner 1-4, Jaspers 0-2, Ledger 0-1, Jensen 0-1). Rebounds: Duluth 33 (Crawford 8), U-Mary 31 (Johnson 7). Assists: Duluth 12 (Ervin 4), U-Mary 18 (Johnson 6). Steals: Duluth 5 (Hottenstine 2, Rodriguez 2), U-Mary 4 (Tyler 2). Turnovers: Duluth 10, U-Mary 13. Fouls: Duluth 10, U-Mary 19. Fouled out: None. Technical fouls: None.

Records: Duluth 3-10 NSIC, 5-12 overall; U-Mary 2-11, 3-14.

Reach reporter Cindy Peterson at  250-8245 or cindy.peterson@bismarcktribune.com.