The Wayne State women shot the ball well on Friday, but struggled on Saturday as they got a split with Southwest Minnesota State.
On Friday, Wayne State broke open a close game by outscoring Southwest Minnesota State 32-19 in the third quarter as the Wildcats defeated the Mustangs 74-60.
Both teams struggled in the first quarter shooting the ball as SMSU held WSC to just 5 of 16 and the Mustangs held a 14-12 lead after 10 minutes.
The poor shooting continued in the second quarter that saw five lead changes and two ties. The Wildcats used an Erin Norling basket to end the half, capping a 4-12 second quarter shooting for the Wildcats, that gave WSC a 29-28 lead at halftime.
The game was still close midway through the third quarter when WSC went on a scoring blitz that put the game away. WSC held a 42-40 lead at the 5:02 mark of the third quarter, then scored 13 points in just under two minutes to grab a commanding 55-40 lead. Halley Busse hit a 3-pointer, followed by a Norling basket. A Busse 3-pointer and a layup followed by a Norling trey capped the scoring run.
SMSU got within eight several times in the fourth quarter, but WSC also pushed the lead back to double figures and closed with the 14-point win.
Busse scored a season-high 28 points to lead Wayne State, going 5-of-10 behind the arc and 9-of-17 overall in the game. Norling followed with 25 points on 9-of-14 shooting while sophomore Kassidy Pingel came off the bench to score a career-high 12 points on 4-of-7 shooting and 3-for-4 at the line.
Norling hauled in nine boards for the ‘Cats while Kylie Hammer and Pingel each had six. Busse handed out six assists with Hammer adding five.
On Saturday, Wayne State shot just 28.6 percent from the field and had 20 turnovers in a 85-49 loss to the Mustangs.
The Wildcats never led in the contest. SMSU came out strong and shot 50 percent from the field while the Wildcats suffered a major blow midway through the first quarter when senior point guard Busse left the game with an injury and WSC trailed 23-11 after the opening 10 minutes.
WSC struggled from the field in the second quarter, connecting on just 2 of 17 shots as the Mustangs outscored WSC 22-9 to take a commanding 45-20 lead at intermission.
Junior guard Kylie Hammer had 17 points for the Wildcats followed by Josey Ryan with 16. Norling and Busse, who combined for 53 points Friday evening in a 74-60 win over the Mustangs, did not score a point on Saturday as Norling went 0-for-10 from the field while Busse played just 5:41 before leaving with an injury.
WSC held a slim 40-39 edge in rebounding over SMSU with Hammer grabbing nine boards for the ‘Cats. Lauren Zacharias had seven assists and three steals for WSC.
The Wildcats will be at home again next weekend to close out the regular season, hosting Augustana Friday at 6:30 p.m. and Saturday in a 2:30 p.m. contest.
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