Lady ‘Cats dominate Thanksgiving tournament

DaQuan Samuel, Staff Writer

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The Wildcat women’s basketball team improved its record to 5-1 over the Thanksgiving break with wins over the University of Jamestown and Concordia–Portland.

The Wildcats went 1-1 before the break with a 58-45 home win over Rockhurst, and then later losing a close battle to Augustana University, 79-73.

Against Rockhurst, neither team could make many shots in the first quarter. The two teams played to an 8-8 tie after WSC made just 3 of 17 shots from the field, while Rockhurst was 3 of 13. WSC took a pair of five-point leads in the second-quarter before finishing with a 21-20 lead at intermission.

The turning point of the game was in the third quarter when WSC took control of the game, holding Rockhurst without a point for almost seven minutes as the Wildcats built a double-digit lead, holding the Hawks to 3-19 in shooting.

WSC scored the opening five points of the fourth quarter to take its biggest lead of the game at 45-26 with 7:53 left in the game and maintained a double digit lead to finish with the 58-45 win.

On Monday evening, the Lady ‘Cats dropped their Northern Sun Conference opener with a 79-73 loss to Augustana University in Sioux Falls, S.D.

The first quarter was a shootout between the two, with Augustana building a 25-21 lead after only 10 minutes of play.

Augustana opened the second half scoring the first nine points in just two minutes to take a 44-38 lead over WSC. The Vikings pushed the lead to eight at 57-49 with just under two minutes to play, until Wildcat Anna Martensen drained a 3-pointer to end the third quarter cutting the Augustana lead to 57-52.

WSC’s Kacie O’Connor’s 3-pointer knotted the score at 64-64 with 4:47 to play, but the Wildcats couldn’t regain the lead. The Vikings put the game out of reach when they scored the next seven points for a 72-64 lead with 1:27 left to play. The Vikings would finish the game with a 79-73 victory.

Over Thanksgiving break, the ‘Cats went 2-0 in the Radisson Hotel MSP North Classic in St. Paul, Minn. Starting with the University of Jamestown on Friday afternoon, Wayne State led from start to finish, but had to hold off a fourth quarter rally to defeat the Jimmies 65-56.

The Wildcats got into early foul trouble in the contest and called on the bench to provide a spark as 12 of Wayne State’s 19 first-quarter points were scored by reserves. Sophomore reserve forward Andrea Larson scored a career-high 16 points off the bench.

Jamestown got within five at 23-18 with 5:23 left to play in the second quarter before the Wildcats used a pair of Martensen layups to end the half, putting the Wildcats in front 33-24 at intermission.

Jamestown got as close as 56-50, but the Wildcats responded with a pair of Haley Moore free throws and an O’Connor 3-pointer to move to 61-50. WSC used four of six free throws in the final two minutes to seal the 65-56 victory.

The next day, the Wildcats built a 44-18 halftime lead and had all 13 players score as the Wildcats cruised to a 79-62 win over Concordia-Portland.

Concordia-Portland caught fire from the field in the fourth quarter, making 10 of 17 shots from the field and 9 for 12 at the free-throw line to outscore WSC 31-14, making the game closer as the Wildcats finished with a 79-62 victory.

The Wildcats return stay home this weekend for a pair of NSIC games, hosting Minnesota State Friday night at 6 p.m. and Concordia-St. Paul Saturday in a 4 p.m. contest.

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