Wildcat women go 1-1 at Minnesota State

The Wayne State women’s basketball team settled for a split over the weekend, going 1-1 in action at Minnesota State.

On Saturday, the Wildcats were able to overcome 29 turnovers to defeat Minnesota State 84-79.

Minnesota State sprinted to an early 6-0 lead before Wayne State rallied and took a 13-9 advantage on a 3-pointer by Halley Busse. That helped the Wildcats take a lead they’d hold the rest of the half, 37-36.

The third quarter saw Minnesota State surge to a five-point lead just past the midway point of the quarter at 52-47, but Wayne native and junior reserve guard Kylie Hammer scored four straight points along with baskets by Brittany Bongartz and Josey Ryan to end the third quarter giving WSC a Wayne State a 60-58 lead going to the final period.

The Wildcats continued their torrid shooting in the fourth quarter (9-11 from the field) and built a double-digit lead, but had to hold off a late Minnesota State rally.

A 3-pointer from Autumn Mlinar followed by a layup from Hammer gave the Wildcats their biggest lead of the night at 73-60 with 6:21 to play. WSC also held a 13-point lead at 77-64 with 4:40 to play following a Busse layup that gave the senior guard her 1,000th career point.

Minnesota State stormed back with the next 10 points in just 2:36 and cut the Wildcat lead to 77-74 with 2:04 remaining. Hammer then responded with a three-point play followed by two free throws to put the Wildcats ahead 82-76, with Busse sinking a pair of free throws in the final minute to help WSC hang on for the 84-79 win.

Norling scored 21 points to lead Wayne State with Hammer close behind at 20, 17 coming in the second half. Mlinar added 14 points while Busse closed the night with nine, giving her 1,002 points for her career and the 22nd player in school history to reach the milestone.

Wayne State won the rebounding battle 42-36 thanks to nine boards from Mlinar and seven by Bongartz. Norling and Busse were each credited with six assists.

In Sunday afternoon action, Minnesota State’s bench outscored Wayne State 49-18 as the Mavericks topped Wayne State 84-71.

The Wildcats held an 18-12 first quarter lead following a Josey Ryan 3-pointer with 3:02 to play in the quarter, but Minnesota State scored the final 11 points of the opening period to take a 23-18 lead and never trailed the rest of the way.

The Mavericks built several double digit leads in the second quarter and was in front 42-31 with 2:41 left in the first half. Busse then scored eight straight points to cut the MSU lead to three at 42-39. That’s as close as WSC would get to the Mavericks, as MSU closed the first half with a 50-42 lead.

Busse and Ryan each scored 13 points for Wayne State while Hammer, Mlinar and Bongartz added 10 apiece. 

WSC held a slim 44-42 edge in rebounding over MSU with Hammer and Mlinar leading WSC on the boards with seven each.

The Wildcats (2-4, 1-3 NSIC South) will be on the road again this weekend for NSIC South Division games at Upper Iowa Friday at 6 p.m. and Saturday at 2 p.m. in Fayette, Iowa.

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