Concordia-St. Paul jumped out to a 14-point first half lead, then held off a Wayne State comeback in the second half to upset the Wildcats 80-70 in the NSIC/Sanford Health Women’s Basketball Tournament quarterfinals played Sunday afternoon at the Sanford Pentagon in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. The Wildcats end the season at 25-7 while Concordia-St. Paul advances to the semifinals with a 13-17 record.
The ‘Cats got off to a slow start, trailing 18-8 in the opening 5:30 of the contest, while starting forward Maggie Schulte picked up two fouls and was forced to the bench. The Golden Bears extended the lead to 20-9 at the 3:45 mark.
Concordia-St. Paul made 10 of 18 shots in the opening stanza and finished with a 25-15 lead on the Wildcats.
After WSC made the first two baskets of the second quarter to get within six at 25-19, CSP reeled off eight straight points to take their biggest lead of the half at 33-19
The Golden Bears still led 35-21 with 3:00 left when the Wildcats closed the half with a 12-4 run, using a Kacie O’Connor 3-pointer right before halftime to cut the Concordia-St. Paul advantage to 39-33 at intermission.
CSP started quick in the third quarter, scoring the first six point to increase the lead back to double digits at 45-33 with 8:05 to play in the quarter.
The Wildcats scored the next 13 points and took their first lead of the game at 46-45 on an Andrea Larson jumper with 3:30 to play third quarter. After Concordia-St. Paul regained the lead and was in front 51-47, WSC closed the third quarter with a Paige Ballinger basket to trail by one point 53-52 entering the fourth quarter.
A Ballinger basket to open the fourth gave WSC just its second lead of the game at 54-53. Following two straight CSP baskets, WSC countered with a layin from Maggie Schulte and a 3-pointer from Maggie Lowe to take a 59-57 advantage, forcing a Golden Bear timeout.
The two teams traded a pair of baskets and WSC held a 63-61 lead following an O’Connor layup with 4:16 left. But that would be Wayne State’s final lead.
Two Lindsay Dorr baskets that included a three-point play put the Golden Bears in front 66-63. After a Ballinger basket got WSC within one at 66-65, Concordia’s Anna Schmitt converted a 3-pointer and layup to give CSP a 71-65 advantage.
WSC got as close as two on a Larson 3-pointer with 46 seconds to play making the score 72-70.
The Golden Bears then sealed the win with four straight free throws from Schmitt and two charity tosses from Hanna Vidlund and Ellie Gess to clinch the upset win for Concordia-St. Paul.
Senior forward Maggie Schulte led Wayne State in scoring with 16 points followed by senior center Paige Ballinger with 15. Reserves Andrea Larson and Brittany Bongartz also hit double figures with 10 points each.
Wayne State finished the game making 28 of 62 shots for 45.2 percent, going 3 of 10 from the 3-point line and 11 for 14 at the charity stripe.
Anna Schmitt and Lindsay Dorr each accounted for 25 points for Concordia-St. Paul while Hanna Vidlund also hit double figures with 14. Dorr and Vidlund both finished with double-doubles as Dorr hauled in 12 rebounds while Vidlund handed out 11 assists.
Concordia-St. Paul shot 50.8 percent for the game making 30 of 59 shots. The Golden Bears were 5 of 12 from behind the arc and 15 of 20 at the free throw line.
The Golden Bears won the rebounding battle over the Wildcats 37-27. Erin Norling grabbed five boards for the Wildcats.