Lady ‘Cats’ winning streak continues

Latest win makes Kielsmeier as winningest women’s basketball coach at WSC


Photo by Tess Riecke

WSC’s Maggie Schulte holds on to the ball as Minnesota Duluth’s Taylor Dillinger attempts to gain control of the ball.

Joseph Lovercheck, Staff Writer

Games were won, games were lost and records were broken over the break for the Wildcat women’s basketball team. The team is now 11-6 and on a six-game winning streak.

WSC is now 11-6 overall and 8-4 in league play, while St. Cloud State drops to 9-7 and 8-4 in the league.

The Wayne State College Wildcat basketball team ended December cold, but brought in the new year with a bang. The Wildcatswent 0-3 in their last three games of December. The ‘Cats took a couple weeks off, then got back to their winning ways, winning their first six games of the New Year.

On Dec. 11, the Wildcats headed to Crookston, Minn., for a NSIC matchup against Minnesota Crookston. The ‘Cats shot just 38 percent from the field as they lost the game, 80-64. Crookston outshot the Wildcats, shooting 29 of 59 from the field for 49 percent, while also going 10 of 18 from behind the arc and 12 of 15 from the free throw line.

“We just didn’t play very well,” coach Chris Kielsmeier said.

The next day, Wayne State headed to Bemidji, to take on Bemidji State. BSU earned their first conference win, edging out WSC, 68-65.

The following weekend the ‘Cats headed to Sioux Falls to take on conference rival Augustana. Wayne State fell seconds short of victory, losing on a buzzer beater from Augustana’s Paige Peterson. Pererson converted an offensive rebound from the left baseline as time expired to give the Vikings a 59-58 win.

The Wildcats took a few weeks off from games and came back out on Jan. 2 to take on the Mustangs of Southwest Minnesota State in Rice Auditorium. Wayne State had five players in double figure points, led by Haley Moore with 19. Fifteen of Moore’s 19 points came from behind the three-point line. WSC downed SMSU, 88-59.

“We came back from Christmas break a much different team. [We] practiced a lot harder, focused much better and just started to do things at a higher level which helped up turn the corner in January,” Kielsmeier said.

The ‘Cats again had five people with double-digit scoring, led by Maggie Schulte with 22, in a 10-point win over Sioux Falls 83-73. During the second quarter of play, WSC trailed by as many as 18, but rallied back to win.

Wayne State used a double-double from Anna Martensen, her third of the season, to take down Minnesota State Mankato, in Mankato on Jan. 8. Martensen scored 14 points and grabbed 10 rebounds as the ‘Cats won, 72-63.

On Jan. 9, the Wildcats headed to St. Paul, Minn. to take on Concordia-St. Paul. WSC scored 33 points in the fourth quarter while only allowing 19, in their win over the Golden Bears. The ‘Cats won the game, 78-68.

The ‘Cats faced off against Minnesota Duluth in a NSIC matchup this past Friday. WSC used a 26-12 point third quarter to pull away in the game. The Wildcats won, 68-52.

Against St. Cloud State on Saturday, Paige Ballinger and Maggie Shulte combined for 53 points to help Kielsmeier become the winningest coach in WSC women’s basketball history. WSC had 16 turnovers in the game to just nine by SCSU.

Sadie Murren, Schulte and Ballinger each were credited with five assists for WSC, while Haley Moore and Ballinger each had two blocked shots.

Kielsmeier is now in his eight season as a WSC coach with a 183-52 record. He moves past previous record holder Ryun Williams, who was 182-106 in 10 seasons at Wayne State (1998-2008).

“We’ve got a great commitment to success, from the top down,” Kielsmeier said. “Our administration does a great job of giving us the resources to be successful.”

The lady ‘Cats will be back in action on Friday and Saturday. They will head to Iowa to take on Upper Iowa University on Friday and Minnesota to take on Winona State on Saturday.

“We need to get more consistent,” Kielsmeier said. “We need to rebound a lot better. On the offensive end we need to cut our turnover total down. I think this team has room for growth and improvement in every aspect of the game.”

With the last win over St. Cloud State, WSC is now 11-6 overall and 8-4 in league play.

The Wildcats will be on the road next weekend, visiting Upper Iowa Friday night at 6 p.m. and twelth place Winona State Saturday in a 4 p.m. contest.