The eighth-ranked Wayne State women’s basketball Wildcats clinched their 20th and 21st victories over the weekend at St. Cloud State (75-67) and Minnesota Duluth (81-69).
“We need to continue to get better and win games moving forward,” coach Chris Kielsmeier said.
Hot shooting against Duluth eased the 21 turnovers for the Wildcats on Saturday.
“We got a lot of open shots and our players made plays,” Kielsmeier said. “We need to cut down on our turnovers.”
WSC took an early 9-3 lead before the Bulldogs tied it up at 11 due to an 8-2 run with over 12 minutes in the first half.
Addy Roller, Kara Powell and Michaela Barry each put up three-pointers to increase their team’s lead to 22-14.
UMD came within one at 28-27 with five minutes left before the Wildcats continued their shooting and made a 16-4 run ending the half ahead 44-31.
However, Minnesota Duluth wasn’t finished yet.
In the second half, the Bulldogs trailed just three (48-45), thanks to a bucket by Danielle Flood with under 15 minutes left.
The ‘Cats’ shooting never stopped and they again increased their lead to 61-52.
UMD kept rallying and eventually came within one before WSC pulled ahead by eight and continued to increase their lead the rest of the game, coming out with the win.
Jordan Spencer led the team with 16 points and eight rebounds.
Roller never missed a shot, making both of her three-pointers and going six for six behind the line.
The Wildcats were 25 of 40 (63 percent) from the field and 12 of 18 from the arc.
Wayne State’s 20th win on Friday against St. Cloud State marked the tenth season for women’s basketball with 20 or more wins and coach Kielsmeier’s fourth of the last five seasons.
“We are off to a really good start, but it is all about the future,” Kielsmeier said.
St. Cloud State jumped ahead first with a 9-5 lead, but the Wildcats then scored ten and gave them the 15-11 edge.
The Huskies regained the lead and built it up to 24-19 with over six minutes left of the first half.
They continued to lead by four (33-29) with just under two minutes to go before Ashton Yossi drained two three-pointers, giving WSC the 35-33 lead at intermission.
After halftime, St. Cloud State took the lead back (42-39) followed by a 14-2 run from Wayne State.
The Wildcats led by ten (60-50) with eight minutes left before the Huskies decreased the Wildcats’ lead to 65-62.
A key three-pointer from Yossi gave the Wildcats a bit of breathing room at 68-62.
WSC finished the game making seven of eight free throws and getting the 75-67 win.
Yossi led the Wildcats with 21 points and four steals, followed by Jordan Spencer with 13.
“They need to continue to step up and make plays,” Kielsmeier said of both juniors, Yossi and Spencer. “Both are very experienced players that have played in a lot of big games.”
Ellen Hansen also had 13 points and Roller had 12, while Millie Niggeling chipped in 11 off the bench.
Coming off another weekend road sweep, the Wildcats will be back in Rice Auditorium this weekend, and look to continue their five-game winning streak, hosting Upper Iowa Friday at 6 p.m. and Winona State Saturday at 4 p.m.