Second-half surge lifts Wildcat women to 17-point win
Wayne State outscored Nebraska-Kearney 41-25 in the second half, holding the Lopers to just 8-of-28 shooting as the Wildcats posted a 69-52 win to close out the MIAA/NSIC Crossover Saturday at Rice Auditorium.
With the score tied at 6-6 with just over 3:00 to play in the first quarter, Wayne State went on a 10-2 run that was fueled by eight straight points from Haley Vesey off the bench to put the Wildcats in front 16-9 before finishing the first quarter with a 16-12 lead.
UNK opened the second quarter with a 8-2 run and took the lead at 20-18, but the Wildcats came back with a scoring surge of their own and led 28-24 following a Kylie Hammer layup before ending the half with a 28-27 lead.
Most of the third quarter remained close until Wayne State put together a late scoring surge to take the lead for good. The game’s eighth and final tie came at 35-35 with 4:08 to go third quarter. Wayne State closed the quarter with treys from Hammer, Andrea Larson and Halley Busse to take a 48-41 lead entering the fourth quarter.
A three-point play from Busse gave Wayne State their first double digit lead of the night at 55-43 with 2:29 to play and the Wildcats extended the lead, making 17-of-19 free throws late in the game to finish off the 17-oint win.
Busse posted a game-high 17 points to go with six rebounds, six assists and four steals to pace the Wildcats. Larson and Maggie Lowe also hit double digits with 11 points apiece.
Erin Norling grabbed nine boards for the Wildcats, with Busse and Taylor Wangerin each grabbing six. Busse had six of Wayne State’s 15 assists and four of the team’s 15 steals.
The Wildcats (2-0) resume play next weekend at the Subway Classic in Quincy, Ill., battling Truman State Friday at 5 p.m. and host Quincy University Saturday in a 3 p.m. contest.