New Ulm native Joey Batt leads by example for No. 21 Minnesota State
MANKATO, Minn. (KEYC) — The Minnesota State Mavericks remain perfect on the season through the first 11 games.
Paving the way for the Mavericks is New Ulm native Joey Batt.
“She’s a difference-maker, she absolutely is,” head coach Emily Thiesse said of Batt, who is now in her third year with the Mavericks.
Batt is getting the job done offensively and defensively for Minnesota State. The sophomore leads the team with 33 steals this season and is averaging 18 points per game.
“She’s shown great leadership, she’s shown great consistency. We always say she has an energy that’s unmatched on both ends. She never gets tired. When I talk about that depth, sometimes I give her a break, and I don’t know if she even needs a break out there,” Thiesse added.
The guard’s intensity is contagious and elevates the entire team anytime the Mavericks take the floor.
“She just goes in a way that takes everyone along with her. She creates for other players with the ball in her hands,” Thiesse continued. “You can just see other teams, the fear in their eyes as Joey defends them in the open court. She’s a captain for us, she just does it all and plays with the confidence that translates into the rest of our team.”
Batt’s steady improvement since 2019 is part of the reason MSU is averaging 84.5 points per game this season, the program’s highest total since the 2008-09 national championship team.
“I just think growing my game, the change of speed, we’ve really focused on over the summer,” the former New Ulm Eagle said. “I went in the weight room a lot this summer just [so I could] be able to finish more through contact. Being able to play with the great group of girls that lift my confidence. [For example] if you miss a shot, they’re there to back you up, get a rebound for you, or even just pat you on the back to keep your head high.”
The playmaker’s ability to score from anywhere on the floor gives opposing defenses fits, and Batt is just one piece of the puzzle for Minnesota State. There’s plenty of depth on a Mavericks team that’s playing unselfish basketball at a high level.
“On our team, we talk about how we’re all multiple weapons. We all have different things we bring to the team. I think we know everyone so well on and off the court, especially on, so knowing what the line-up is that’s in the game, knowing the plays, the lanes to get their opportunity, and shots open is kind of what I base it off it. So [Tayla Stuttley] is a three-point shooter, so if I drive to the lane and kick it, I know she’ll be there to knock it down.”
Batt and the Mavericks are nationally ranked No. 21 in the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) NCAA Division II Top 25 poll, while also being the top team in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference.
The Mavericks will look to build on their unbeaten start with a match-up against Concordia St. Paul on Jan. 2 in Mankato.
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