Wayne State needed a 19-3 scoring surge late third quarter into the fourth to break opener a close game as the Wildcats held back Minnesota Crookston 72-59 in the first round of the NSIC Sanford Health Women’s Basketball Tournament played at Rice Auditorium in Wayne Wednesday evening. WSC is now 25-6 on the season with the win while the Golden Eagles end the year at 8-19.
The game was close throughout between the Golden Eagles and Wildcats until Wayne State’s scoring run late third quarter put a little separation between the two teams..
With the score tied at 8-8 near the halfway point of the first quarter, WSC went on a 10-3 run, highlighted by 3-pointers from Maggie Lowe and Kacie O’Connor, to take an 18-11 lead with 1:12 to play first quarter.
UMC ended the quarter with five straight points as WSC held an 18-16 lead after one quarter.
Wayne State held the lead the entire second quarter, but never led by more than six points.
The Wildcats led 27-21 following a jumper from Lowe and again at 29-23 on a layup from Paige Ballinger, but the Golden Eagles battled back to knot the score at 29-29 on a jumper by Abby Guidinger before WSC got a trey from O’Connor with 1:02 left before halftime for the final points of the half as WSC led 32-29 at intermission.
Early in the third quarter, Minnesota Crookston took their first lead of the game at 36-34 on an Isieoma Odor jumper at the 8:09 mark.
UMC took their last lead of the night at 40-39 on a pair of Micaela Noga free throws with 6:59 remaining in the quarter. The Wildcats regained the lead for good on a Ballinger basket and three-point play from Erin Norling to go in front 44-40.
The Golden Eagles tied the score one last time at 44-44, but WSC closed the final 3:29 on an 11-3 run canning 8 for 8 from the foul line coupled with an O’Connor 3-pointer to take a 55-47 lead after three quarters.
WSC continued their momentum early in the fourth quarter, scoring the first eight points to take a 63-47 lead on a steal and fast-break layup from O’Connor with 6:21 to play.
The Wildcats maintained their double-digit lead and ended with the 72-59 victory.
Wayne State had four players score in double figures, led by seniors Maggie Schulte and Kacie O’Connor with 15 points each. Senior center Paige Ballinger and freshman forward Erin Norling both accounted for 13 points.
The Wildcats made 25 of 54 shots from the field for 46.3 percent, including 6 of 13 behind the arc. WSC was 16 for 17 (94.1%) at the charity stripe.
Isieoma Odor scored 19 points for Minnesota Crookston while Caitlin Michaelis and Abby Guidinger also hit double digits with 11 and 10 points respectively.
The Golden Eagles connected on 21 of 66 shots from the floor for 31.8 percent, going 7 of 16 from 3-point range and 10 for 17 at the free throw line.
WSC held a 43-32 advantage in rebounding over the Golden Eagles thanks to nine boards each from Schulte and Ballinger.
The Wildcats were charged with 16 turnovers in the game compared to seven on UMC.
O’Connor had four of Wayne State’s 11 assists while Ballinger finished with three blocked shots.
Wayne State advances to the NSIC Sanford Health Women’s Basketball Tournament quarter-finals on Sunday at 2:30 p.m. at the Sanford Pentagon in Sioux Falls. The Wildcats will face Concordia-St. Paul, an 82-63 winner Wednesday evening at St. Cloud State.
St. Cloud State shot 58.2 percent (32-55) from the field as the Huskies defeated Wayne State College 81-57 Wednesday evening in the opening round of the NSIC Sanford Health Men’s Basketball Tournament in St. Cloud, Minnesota. The host Huskies improve to 22-7 with the win while WSC ends the year at 14-17.
Wayne State took the lead early on the Huskies, jumping out of the game to a 12-4 lead five minutes into the game.
St. Cloud State then produced the next 13 points to take the lead for good at 17-12.
After a Matt Thomas layup got WSC within three at 17-14, SCSU scored the next nine points for a 26-14 advantage at the 6:13 mark of the half.
The Wildcats battle back and got as close as six at 30-24 on a Tony Bonner jumper with 3:18 to play before halftime, but the Huskies closed the half strong and took a 39-28 lead at intermission.
WSC stayed within reach of the Huskies early in the second half, but St. Cloud State’s 60.7 percent shooting (17-28) in the second half was too much for the Wildcats to overcome.
After SCSU took a 14-point lead at 44-30, WSC scored eight straight points and back-to-back baskets by Kendall Jacks got the Wildcats within six again at 44-38.
The Huskies scored the next seven points for a 51-38 lead and led by double digits the rest of the way as St. Cloud State pulled away for the 81-57 win.
Junior Trevin Joseph scored 13 points for Wayne State followed by Jordan Cornelius with 12 and Vance Janssen 11. WSC shot 24 of 55 from the field for 43.6 percent, but was just 1 of 11 from 3-point range. The ‘Cats were 8 for 9 at the free throw line.
Brindley Theisen led five St. Cloud State players in double figures with 21 points. Gage Davis contributed 18 with Jon Averkamp scoring 17. Andy Foley and Sean Smith each accounted for 10 points.
The Huskies shot 58.2 percent for the game, making 32 of 55 shots overall. SCSU was 8 of 15 from behind the arc and 9 for 12 at the free throw line.
St. Cloud State held a 31-27 edge in rebounding over WSC with Cornelius leading the Wildcats on the glass with eight caroms.
WSC held a 38-24 advantage on points in the paint, but St. Cloud State enjoyed a 15-6 edge in points off turnovers.