Senior center Paige Ballinger recorded a double-double with 19 points and 11 rebounds and Wayne State outscored Southwest Minnesota State 46-27 in the second half to pull away for a 78-55 Northern Sun Conference women’s basketball win Friday evening over the Mustangs at Rice Auditorium in Wayne. WSC is now 21-6 and 15-4 in the NSIC while SMSU falls to 5-17 and 4-15 in league games.
The first quarter was tightly contested with four ties and five lead changes, resulting in a 15-15 tie.
WSC scored the first five points of the second quarter to take the lead for good at 20-15.
After building the lead to eight late in the second quarter at 31-23, SMSU closed the gap to four at halftime 32-28.
The Wildcats opened the third quarter with an 11-2 run, taking their first double digit lead of the game at 43-30.
SMSU got as close as seven at 46-39 with 1:52 to go in the third quarter, but the ‘Cats scored the final six points of the third quarter for a 52-39 advantage.
The Wildcats made 4 of 7 3-pointers and 8 of 12 free throws in the fourth stanza, outscoring SMSU 26-16, to finish with the 78-55 win.
Ballinger led WSC with 19 points and 11 rebounds for her second double-double of the season. She was 5 of 10 from the field and 9 for 11 at the charity stripe. Kacie O’Connor also reached double figures with 11.
WSC made 24 of 57 shots from the field for 42.1 percent, including 8 of 21 from behind the arc. The ‘Cats were 22 of 29 at the free throw line.
Sadie Stelter scored 12 points for Southwest Minnesota State while Caleigh Rodning also reached double figures with 10.
Southwest Minnesota State was 18 of 49 from the field for 36.7 percent. The Mustangs were 5 of 9 from the 3-point line and 14 of 18 at the charity stripe.
WSC held a 37-30 edge in rebounding over the Mustangs thanks to 11 caroms from Ballinger.
The Wildcats forced 23 SMSU turnovers in the game while WSC had just 11, resulting in a 23-3 advantage in points off turnovers.
Ballinger had four of Wayne State’s 14 assists and also had three blocked shots.
The Wildcats will be at home again Saturday hosting Sioux Falls in a 4 p.m. NSIC contest.
Southwest Minnesota State built an early 16-4 lead and Wayne State could never recover as the Mustangs cruised past the Wildcats 75-60 in a Northern Sun Conference men’s basketball contest played Friday evening at Rice Auditorium in Wayne. WSC drops to 13-14 and 8-11 in league play while SMSU is now 18-7 and 14-5 in the NSIC with the win.
The Mustangs took a 16-4 lead just over five minutes into the game forcing a WSC timeout.
Wayne State rebounded and got as close as 18-12 on a jumper from Austin Esters at the 11:51 mark of the first half.
The Wildcats were still within six at 25-19 following a Vance Janssen trey at the 5:17 mark. SMSU then scored the next eight points for a 33-19 lead before finishing the first half with a 36-26 lead at intermission.
Southwest Minnesota State maintained a double-digit lead the entire second half while holding Wayne State to its second-worst shooting night of the season (38.6 percent) as the Mustangs posted the 75-60 victory.
Wayne State made just 22 of 57 shots in the contest, going 5 of 19 behind the arc and 11 for 16 at the free throw line.
Southwest Minnesota State had four players in double figures with Taylor Schafer and KJ Davis scoring 16 points apiece. Carter Kirk had a double-double with 15 points and 13 rebounds while Turner Moen scored 10.
The Mustangs shot 47.5 percent from the field making 28 of 59 shots. SMSU was 10 for 23 behind the arc and 9 of 10 at the free throw line.
SMSU won the rebounding battle over WSC 38-31. Jacks had nine boards for the ‘Cats.
Jacks was credited with four of Wane State’s 10 assists while Vance Janssen had two steals.
WSC will play their final home game of the season Saturday night at 6 p.m. hosting Sioux Falls.