Erin Norling and Kylie Hammer combined for 48 points as Wayne State defeated Black Hills State 84-74 in a non-conference women’s basketball game played Saturday afternoon at the Donald Young Center in Spearfish, South Dakota. WSC is now 4-1 while BHSU slips to 3-2.
Both teams struggled scoring the ball early with WSC holding a 7-5 lead at the midway point of the first quarter. Norling connected on back-to-back 3-pointers to help the Wildcat offense come alive as the Wildcats ended the opening stanza with a 19-14 lead.
The Yellow Jackets kept the game close early in the second quarter trailing 28-24 at the 7:37 mark, but Wayne State scored the next nine points over the next 2:45 capped by consecutive baskets from Norling to take their first double-digit lead of the night at 37-24 before finishing the first half with a 45-34 advantage.
Black Hills State scored the first five points of the third quarter to get within six at 45-39 and was as close as four at 52-48 at the 4:53 mark. However, WSC pushed the lead back to double digits at 62-51 on a Kylie Hammer layup with 2:18 left in the quarter as the Wildcats ended the quarter with a 65-57 lead.
The Yellow Jackets closed within five (65-60) to open the fourth quarter, but the Wildcats responded and pushed the lead back to double digits again at 75-62 and maintained a double figure advantage until the final three minutes.
A 12-2 BHSU run closed the Wildcat lead to 78-72 with 2:17 to play. Wayne State came back with the next six points to push the lead back to 84-72 and the ‘Cats finished with a 84-74 win.
Norling ended with a game-high 28 points to go with a career-best 12 rebounds. Sophomore reserve guard Kylie Hammer poured in a career-high 20 points on 7 of 13 shooting from the field. Also reaching double figures were freshman Josey Ryan (14) and Halley Busse (13).
Wayne State finished the game making 27 of 64 shots from the field for 42.2 percent, going 6 for 18 behind the arc. The ‘Cats connected on 24 of 29 (82.8%) at the free throw line.
Black Hills State was led by Racquel Wientjes with 21 points followed by Abby Switzer with 14 and Morgan Ham 13.
The Yellow Jackets made 26 of 65 shots for 40 percent, including 9 of 27 (33.3%) from the 3-point line. BHSU was 13-20 at the charity stripe.
Wayne State held a 47-37 advantage in rebounding thanks to 12 caroms from Norling and nine each from Josey Ryan and Brittney Bongartz.
Norling also had three blocked shots and three steals while Busse was credited with four assists.
Wayne State will play their final non-conference game of the season Tuesday evening hosting Mount Marty College in a 7 p.m. contest at Rice Auditorium.