Lady ’Cats take the sweep at home

Nate Neary, Staff Writer

Consistency has been the theme for the Wayne State College women’s basketball team these past few weeks, and even with a weekend sweep of Bemidji State and Minnesota Crookston, Head Coach Chris Kielsmeier wants to see more from his 17-6 Wildcats.
“I still thought we were inconsistent, but when we were good we were really good,” Kielsmeier said.
Wayne never trailed in either game, showing its offensive fire power and defensive prowess throughout the weekend in Rice Auditorium.
“It’s always an advantage for us to play in Rice,” Kielsmeier said.
The Wildcats started off hot Friday against Bemidji with a 15-4 lead in the first quarter at the 4:30 mark. However, the second quarter saw the ‘Cats hot shooting cool off and Bemidji climb back into the game.
Bemidji tied the game at 35 to start the second half, but the ‘Cats responded with a 12-2 run and a Maggie Schulte 3-pointer to put WSC up 47-37 with 4:22 left in the third quarter.
With 11 seconds left in the fourth quarter, the Beavers came within three, but Katie Hoskins nailed two free throws to seal the win, 70-65.
WSC shot 38 percent from the field, hitting 19 of 50 shots. The ‘Cats hit 8 of 20 attempts from behind the arc. Paige Ballinger led the team in scoring with 20 points, and Anna Martensen followed her with 14.
Saturday’s game against Minnesota Crookston was another hard fought win against a conference opponent.
“17-6 is an outstanding record until you dig into what everyone in the Northern Sun Conference is doing,” Kielsmeier said.
WSC got off to another hot start, leading the Golden Eagles 11-4 in the first quarter.
But the Eagles fought back in the second, aided by cold shooting from the ‘Cats, who made only 3 of 13 shots. The ‘Cats held a one point lead, 28-27, going into halftime.
WSC got back on a hot streak in the third quarter, taking a 37-29 lead. UMC fought back though, getting to within one point before WSC answered with six straight points to take a 45-38 lead heading into the fourth.
Ballinger hit a layup to start off the fourth, giving WSC its biggest lead of the game, 47-38.
The rest of the fourth quarter was a hard-fought contest, but WSC closed out the game 67-60 for the NSIC win.
Schulte and Ballinger led the ‘Cats in scoring with 17 and 16, respectively.
WSC will be on the road next weekend, taking on Southwest Minnesota State Friday at 6 p.m., and the University of Sioux Falls Saturday at 4 p.m.