Lady Wildcats assert themselves into first place


Richard Rhoden

Maggie Schulte aims for the basket in Wayne State’s 64-44 victory over Winona State. Wayne State, with the two wins, took control of first place in the NSIC south division.

Connor Ryan, Staff Writer

Wayne State used stifling defense and good fortune to take over first-place Friday night in the NSIC South Division.

The Wildcats defeated the Upper Iowa Peacocks 69-38 to improve their record to 16-3 overall and 10-3 in league play. Losses by conference rivals Sioux Falls and Winona State put the Wildcats in sole possession of first-place.

The Wildcats used four double-digit scorers to win their seventh straight game. They raced out to a 12-0 lead, holding Upper Iowa without a basket for the first 6 minutes of the game. Maggie Schulte led the way for the Wildcats, scoring 10 of the first 12 points, while finishing with 12 points on the game.

Leading all scorers for the Wildcats was Ashton Yossi with 13 points, Millie Niggeling with 11 points and Paige Ballinger also with 11 of her own.

The ‘Cats fell off from their white hot shooting from a week ago, shooting 45 percent from the field and going 7 of 22 from beyond the arc.

Wayne State kept a defensive vice grip on the Upper Iowa offense, who shot a total 27 percent from the field.

Head coach Chris Kielsmeier spoke in an interview with KTCH sports director Aaron Scheffler how impressed he was with his team’s defense.

“We played really sharp defensively,” Kielsmeier said. “We really knew how they were going to try to attack us, and we did a good job taking away what they wanted.”

There were no Peacocks who scored in double figures. Lauren Buck led the Peacocks in scoring with nine points but collected 14 boards with six of those being on the offensive glass.

The one sour spot for the Wildcats in the contest was being outrebounded by the Peacocks, which has been a point of emphasis for Kielsmeier.

“We concentrated on it so much over the course of the week,” Kielsmier said of his team’s rebounding struggles. “I thought our positioning and technique would be better and it wasn’t, which is disappointing.”

The Wildcats’ test the next night was defending their sole possession of first place from the Winona State Warriors.

And the ‘Cats succeeded, winning their eighth straight game by a score of 64-44.

Wayne State improved to 17-3 overall and 11-3 in NSIC play.

It was almost like watching the same movie on consecutive nights, as the Wildcats stuck with what had worked the night before; impenetrable defense and a balanced scoring attack.
The Wildcats’ defense held the Warriors to 35 percent shooting from the field and 5 of 16 from beyond the arc.

And again Kielsmeier was more than impressed with the way his team played defensively.

“We defended outstandingly all weekend, we were just sharp, and we held a really good offensive team down tonight.”

Wayne State again had four players scoring in double digits.
Jordan Spencer led the way with 14 points and 5 rebounds, while Ashton Yossi poured in 11 points of her own going 3 of 4 from the three point line, while dishing out 6 assists.
Sadie Murren collected 10 points and 5 steals, and Paige Ballinger finished with 10 points and 6 rebounds.

Wayne State again was able to overcome being out-rebounded 37 to 28, which will no doubt be an emphasis in practice this week.

Kielsmeier expressed the importance of how a good week of practice leads to wins on the weekend.

“Through this run, we’ve been winning these games on the weekend because we practiced so well. Our execution has been outstanding throughout the course of the week leading up to these games.”

The Wildcats will look to continue their so far perfect 2015 with their ninth and tenth straight victories on the road this weekend.

Wayne State takes on Minot State Friday at 6 p.m. and the University of Mary Saturday at 4 p.m.


Wayne State 69, Upper Iowa 38
Wayne State……………… 28 41-69
Upper Iowa………………. 12 26-38
WSC:Yossi 13, Schulte 12, Niggeling 11, Ballinger 11, Spencer 8, Nelson 5, O’Connor 3, Murren 2, Moore 2, Hoskins 1, Bretoi 1. UI: Buck 9, Winkler 8, Cleaver 5, Benson 4, Rosenstiel 4, Carroll 3, TerHark 3, Meier 2.

Wayne State 64, Winona 44
Wayne State…………………..36 28-64
Winona………………………17 27-44
WSC: Spencer 14, Yossi 11, Murren 10, Ballinger 10, Schulte 9, Niggeling 5, Moore 3, Hoskins 2.
WSU: Timmerman 12, Nagle 8, Foley 8, McGlone 4, Zepczyk 4, Weiland 4, Hocking 3, Wirth 1.