Wildcat women hang on for win at Upper Iowa

Wayne State built a 20-point lead early in the third quarter, then held off a second-half comeback from Upper Iowa as the Wildcats defeated the Peacocks 68-60 in Northern Sun Conference women’s action Friday evening at Dorman Gymnasium in Fayette, Iowa.

After Wayne State jumped out to a 9-4 lead at the 4:47 mark of the opening period, Upper Iowa scored the next six points to grab their final lead of the night at 10-9 with 3:22 left in the first quarter. The Wildcats closed the quarter with eight straight points – a Halley Busse 3-pointer and a layup and 3-pointer from Kylie Hammer – to take a 17-10 advantage after one quarter and never trailed again.

Wayne State used a 9-0 run early in the second quarter to take their first double-digit lead of the night following a Erin Norling basket and Busse 3-pointer to put the Wildcats in front 26-12 at the 6:31 mark of the second quarter. Wayne State continued to build on their advantage, closing the half with seven straight points to take a 37-19 lead at the break.

The host Peacocks came out strong in the third quarter, however, and did not allow the Wildcats to put the game away so easily.

After Wayne State took a pair of 20-point leads early in the third quarter, Upper Iowa battled back and got as close as eight at 48-40 at the 1:58 mark of the third before Wayne State rebuilt their lead to 12 going to the fourth quarter.

Wayne State pushed the lead to 57-43 on a Busse trey with 7:16 to play, but the Peacocks battled back and got as close as four in the final minute before a pair of Kylie Hammer free throws and a steal and layup from Norling in the final 30 seconds sealed the win.

Erin Norling led Wayne State in scoring with 19 points followed by Brittany Bongartz with 15 points and Halley Busse with 14. Samantha Domeyer poured in a game-high 23 points to lead Upper Iowa in scoring while Natalie Dinius also hit double digits with 12.

Wayne State held a 51-47 advantage in rebounding over the Peacocks thanks to nine boards from Norling and eight by Andrea Larson. Busse handed out six of Wayne State’s 17 assists with Norling adding five. Bongartz was credited with three blocked shots while Taylor Reiner and Amelia Ivester each recorded two.

The Wildcats (5-2, 1-1 NSIC) will be in action again Saturday with a 3:30 p.m. contest at Winona State.

The Wayne Herald

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