Wildcats rally for 69-61 overtime road win
After leading for the first three quarters, Wayne State had to rally from a seven-point deficit with less than five minutes left in regulation to force overtime and eventually pull away for a 69-61 win Monday evening at the University of Colorado-Colorado Springs.
The Wildcat women took a 7-2 led five minutes into the game and scored the last six points of the first quarter to take a 17-10 lead.
The Wildcats took a pair of nine point leads early in the second quarter. An Evelyn Knox layup put the Wildcats in front 21-12 with 7:55 to play in the half.
With Wayne State leading 23-15, UCCS took their only lead of the first half at 27-26 on a Tatum Tellin 3-pointer with 1:46 to play in the half before WSC closed the half strong for a 31-28 lead at intermission.
Wayne State maintained a lead in the third quarter despite shooting just 38 percent on 5-of-13 while the Mountain Lions canned 7-of-14 shots to knot the score at 44-44 heading into the fourth quarter.
UCCS started the fourth quarter making 4-of-6 shots and took a 54-47 lead with 4:52 to play when WSC started their comeback.
A Maggie Schulte 3-pointer and two free throws each from Schulte and Erin Norling tied the score at 54-54 with 1:48 to play.
After UCCS regained the lead on a basket with 57 seconds left, WSC answered on the next possession with two Kacie O’Connor free throws to even the score at 56-56 with 38 seconds to play. Wayne State forced a shot clock violation to get the ball back with 8.3 seconds to play, but UCCS double teamed Paige Ballinger inside who missed a layup to send the game into overtime.
In the extra session, the Mountain Lions took their lone lead on a 3-point play with 2:38 play at 61-60. WSC then scored the final nine points of the overtime starting with two Schulte free throws and a jumper for a 64-61 lead. The Wildcats then went 5 for 6 at the charity stripe in the final 43 seconds to seal the 69-61 victory.
Wayne State finished the contest making 21-of-55 shots for 38.2 percent, including 6 for 21 behind the arc. The Wildcats were 21 of 26 (80.8 percent) at the free throw line.
Schulte led WSC with a game-high 19 points with 10 coming in the fourth quarter and overtime. Paige Ballinger and Erin Norling also hit double figures with 11 and 10 respectively.
Tatum Tellin paced UC-Colorado Springs in scoring with 16 points. Shanah Leaf added 15 with Maria Haas scoring 10 off the bench.
Halley Busse led WSC with three assists while Ballinger had two blocked shots.
Wayne State (3-2) will play its home opener Thursday evening hosting Graceland (Iowa) in a 7 p.m. contest at Rice Auditorium.