The Wayne State women’s basketball team fell to 5-7 overall and 4-6 in NSIC South Division action with two losses at Sioux Falls over the weekend.
On Friday, the Wildcats shot just 21.9 percent from the field and dropped an 80-45 decision to the Lady Cougars.
The host Cougars raced to an early 11-0 lead on the Wildcats before WSC got on the board with a Kylie Hammer layup with 5:52 to play in the quarter. Wayne State made just 2-of-15 shots in the opening stanza and fell behind 21-5.
Both teams struggled early in the second quarter but Wayne State’s shooting woes continued, going just 2-of-15 again in the second quarter, as the Wildcats trailed 36-15 at intermission.
USF outscored WSC in the third quarter 22-13 with the Wildcats hitting just 4-of-16 shots in the quarter as Sioux Falls built a 58-28 lead. Reserves played a majority of the final quarter with the host Cougars holding a 22-17 scoring edge over the Wildcats.
Senior point guard Halley Busse was the lone Wildcat in double figures with 13 points.
Sioux Falls held a sizeable 50-34 advantage in rebounding over the Wildcats. Hammer hauled in six boards for Wayne State and also had a team-high four assists.
On Saturday, Wayne State nearly rallied from a 60-42 deficit with 5:20 to play but the late Wildcat surge fell just short in a 62-58 loss.
The Wildcats never led in the contest and were haunted by poor field goal shooting for a second straight day. Despite going just 3-of-14 in the opening quarter, WSC trailed 16-11 after 10 minutes of play.
Sioux Falls built a 10-point lead (26-16) midway through the second quarter, but WSC closed to within four at halftime at 27-23.
WSC got as close as one at 29-28 following a Busse 3-pointer with 8:47 to play in the third quarter, but the Cougars scored the next nine points and pushed the lead back to double digits at 38-28. After WSC closed the deficit to 41-36 following two Busse free throws at the 2:21 mark, USF closed the quarter with a 50-38 lead.
USF held a 60-42 lead following a basket with 6:20 to play and still led 62-46 at the 4:17 mark. Sioux Falls never scored the rest of the game. Two Busse free throws with 2:02 to play cut the margin to nine at 62-53.
An Ashley Gustavson layup with 45 seconds to play made the score 62-55 and a Hammer 3-pointer with 10 seconds left made the final score 62-58 as the late surge fell just short.
Senior forward Erin Norling led WSC with 17 points, 12 coming in the second half. She also moved into fifth place on the all-time scoring list at Wayne State with 1,537 points, moving past Karen Hochstein’s 1,530 points from 1999-2003. Busse and Hammer also reached double digits with 11 points apiece.
USF held a 42-36 edge in rebounding over WSC with Norling grabbing six boards for the ‘Cats. Norling and Hammer each had three assists for WSC while Norling led the ‘Cats with three steals and two blocks.
The Wildcats return home to Rice Auditorium next weekend hosting Southwest Minnesota State Friday at 6:30 p.m. and Saturday at 2:30 p.m.