Women’s basketball goes 0-2 this past weekend at home

Laynee Merrill
Erin Norling dribbles around a defender as her teammate sets a screen.

Hunter Kiburz, Staff Writer

The Wayne State women’s basketball team dropped two close, hard-fought home games last weekend, dropping to 16-10 and 11-9 in the conference.

Opponents Concordia St. Paul improved to 13-12 and 10-9 in conference play, and Minnesota State advanced to 14-10 and 11-9 for the season.

The Wildcats overcame a nine-point deficit late in the game and took a one-point lead over Concordia-St. Paul but a late steal and basket handed Wayne State an 81-80 loss.

Junior forward Erin Norling scored 11 of the 16 points scored in the first quarter and gave the Wildcats a one-point lead. The Golden Bears didn’t back down though, they came out scorching hot and outscored the Wildcats 20-15 in the second and shot over 60 percent from the field, taking a 35-31 lead at the break.

“Erin Norling has been consistent all year for us and she’s been battling with injuries while doing this,” redshirt junior Evelyn Knox said. “It’s really cool too see and play with someone who has a motor like Erin does and fights through those injuries to perform at such a high level.”

After half-time, WSC scored 30 points in the third quarter, shooting 10-13 (76.9 percent) from the field while the Golden Bears scored 29 points and shot 60 percent, giving them a three-point lead going in o the final quarter.

Starting off the fourth quarter, CSP pushed its lead out to 72-63 with about six minutes left in the game when WSC made their comeback.

With about 1:37 left to play and the score 78-75, the Wildcats got a big-time three from junior guard Halley Busse and another bucket from Norling, giving the Wildcats an 80-78 lead.

The Wildcats fouled CSP with 27 seconds left but Concordia only converted on one free-throw but then got a steal and took the lead with 10 seconds left.

The Wildcats had one chance still to win the game with a shot by Norling that bounced off the back rim as Concordia St. Paul held on to win.

“I think the biggest thing we need to improve on is knowing the scouting reports on the teams we play and executing them those when we play,” Knox said.

WSC hosted Minnesota State the following day. MSU built an 18-point lead by halftime and WSC couldn’t gain traction.

The Wildcats came out shooting well, trailing MSU 27-23 after the first quarter. In the second quarter, Minnesota State went 10-19 from the field and 6-9 from behind the arc to outscore WSC 28-14 and took a 55-37 lead at halftime.

“This weekend was a huge weekend for us and unfortunately it didn’t go the way we planned,” Knox said. “One thing we’re still working on is playing a complete game and that means being tuned in all 40 minutes of the game.”

MSU maintained a double-digit lead after halftime and ended with a 93-80 win. Norling ended the game with 26 points for WSC on 8-12 shooting.

Wayne State shot 27-63 from the field for 42.9 percent and shot 5-22 from behind the arc. MSU shot 34-73 from the field which was 46.6 percent and shot 12-26 from behind the arc for 46.2 percent. The Wildcats shot 21-25 from the charity stripe, while MSU shot 12-17 from the line.

“We have a young team with a lot of potential but we have even more to learn and fix if we really want to be a good team and make it in the conference tournament this year,” Knox said. “We’re still trying to work out the kinks.”

Wayne State will have its final game on the road next weekend, traveling to Southwest Minnesota State on Feb. 21 at 5:30 p.m. and then traveling to face #12 Sioux Falls Feb. 22 at 3:30 p.m.

Laynee Merrill
Erin Norling dribbles around a defender as her teammate sets a screen.