Women’s basketball gets swept by Huskies and Bulldogs


Brianna Parsons

Halle Busse passes over a St. Cloud defender in Friday’s game at Rice Auditorium.

Blake Hilkemeier, Reporter

The Wayne State College Women’s basketball team fell to 13-11 on the season after going 0-2 this past weekend losing to conference opponents, St. Cloud State and Minnesota Duluth last Friday and Saturday at Rice Auditorium. With the loses this past weekend gives the Wildcats four straight losses in conference play with only four regular season games left to play before the NSIC tournament.

On Friday the `Cats took on a tough St. Cloud State Huskies. The Huskies controlled the tempo nearly the entire first quarter of play, ending up with a 18-17 lead at the end of the first quarter.

After the `Cats were able to take the lead early in the second quarter, the two teams traded the lead six times, before the Huskies were finally able to maintain control of the game, leading 34-32 at the half.

The Huskies then never looked back, opening up the second half on a 21-6 run that ultimately resulted in their largest lead of the game at 55-38 with the third quarter winding down.

“The whole year has kind of been a struggle to come out of halftime for us,” freshman center Amelia Ivester said. “Whenever we have had a complete game throughout the season we all realize that’s what we want. We just need to figure out as a team how to come out and play the third quarter”

The Huskies would go on to win the contest 78-67, after the `Cats put up 22 points in the fourth quarter in a failed attempt to regain control of the game.

Bongartz led the `Cats in scoring, with 21 points, followed by fellow Sophomore Erin Norling who ended the game with 17. Sophomore Halley Busse was the last `Cat to reach double-digits, ending the game with 10 points of her own.

The game on Saturday against Minnesota Duluth began in a similar way for Wayne State.

The big story of this game being turnovers, as WSC was unable to pull things together offensively, and ended the night with a season high 25.

“Turnovers were definitely something mentioned in the locker room,” Ivester said. “Of course we never want to have 25 turnovers at the end of the game, and that was something that was emphasized in the locker room.”

“Rebounding has been another big thing,” Ivester said. “He (Head Coach Brent Pollari) mentioned how it was great we won that, but we can’t turn around and have 25 turnovers. He wants us to put a whole game together but it seems we just keep missing one aspect of it.”

After a very hard fought first quarter, WSC found themselves only down seven, with the score being 21-14, in favor of the visiting Bulldogs.

In the second quarter, the `Cats seemed to have found a groove, eventually taking a 31-30 lead off of a Maggie Lowe three-pointer with only 2:57 remaining in the quarter.

After that, the Bulldogs kicked things up a notch, and eventually went into halftime with a 39-33 lead over the `Cats.

Unfortunately for the `Cats, their third quarter struggles carried into Saturday, and by the end of the quarter, they found themselves in a 62-46 hole following an 11-2 run by the Bulldogs midway through the period.

The Bulldogs stayed hot in the fourth quarter, going 8-14 from the field, keeping the `Cats hopes of a comeback buried, and finish the game with a 79-57 victory.

Leading the way for WSC were Sophomores Bongartz and Norling. Bongartz, who was forced to leave the game early after taking a hard fall on the court, ended the game with 12 points and eight rebounds. Norling finished with 11 points and three boards.
After last weekend, the Wildcats are looking at only four regular season games left to gain momentum before tournament time.

“I would say the strategy is just to go one game at a time,” Ivester said. “We know the teams we play next weekend really well, so we need to just go in with the best strategy we can and just attack them.”

Wayne State will be on the road and in action this Friday and Saturday against Concordia-St. Paul and Minnesota State Mankato.