Lady ‘Cats’ lose game and Ballinger at Moorhead

Joseph Lovercheck, Staff Writer

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The last two weeks have seen the ‘Cats win, lose and lose more than a game.

 
In Friday night’s 67-59 loss at MSU Moorhead, sophomore Paige Ballinger suffered a broken ankle and will be lost for the season. Ballinger was leading the ‘Cats in scoring with 15 points per game.

 
The MSU Moorhead Dragons held the lead for just under 35 minutes of the game.

 
The ‘Cats withstood multiple surges from the Dragons, cutting Moorhead’s lead to five at halftime, 27-22. Early in the third, WSC came within one, and ended up trailing at the end of the quarter 44-42.

 
During the fourth WSC took their first lead since the first quarter, but it was short lived as MSU took it right back.

 
“I thought we played really hard,” head coach Chris Kielsmeier said. “We turned the ball over too many times. We’ve got to get better with that. Overall it was a pretty good weekend.”

 
On Saturday WSC traveled to Aberdeen to take on Northern State. The Wildcats bounced back from their Friday loss to win this game, 66-51.

 
During the first quarter both teams lead early, but WSC ultimately ended the quarter up 15-7. WSC trailed at the intermission 25-24.

 
In the second half, Maggie Schulte scored 22 of her career-best 28 points.

 
“She was aggressive. Maggie always plays well when she is aggressive,” Kielsmeier said. “[She] was attacking the basket and wanting to make plays.”

 
WSC took the lead back and finished the third quarter leading 44-39.

 
During the final minute and a half of the game, WSC went 10-10 from the free-throw line.

 
WSC is now 14-9 overall and 11-7 in the NSIC. The ‘Cats hold an impressive 11-1 home record but have a 3-8 road record.

 
“It’s tougher to win on the road,” Kielsmeier said. “The other side of it is, we haven’t played very well on the road. To win on the road, especially in the Northern Sun, you have to play well. And we did on Saturday, that’s why we won.

 
“We didn’t play well enough on Friday, we made a lot of mistakes. We showed some inexperience on Friday. Saturday, we grew up. Hopefully, that’s a sign of things to come.”

 
The ‘Cats bounced back after losing both games the weekend of Jan. 22-23 by beating Minot State, 80-60, here in Wayne on Saturday, Jan. 30.

 

The Wildcats led 37-28 at halftime.

 
“We shot the ball really well,” Kielsmeier said. “Our offensive execution was very effective when we didn’t turn it over. We are turning it over too much, and turned it over too much all year.”

 
Schulte’s third double-double of the season propelled WSC to a win over the University of Mary on Sunday Jan. 31, 70-54.

 
During this game the WSC bench outscored the University of Mary 18-2.

 
“We’ve got great depth,” Kielsmeier said. “We’ve got 14 players, 13 of them who suit up that can make plays. Each and every night. We have full confidence in our players to be able to go out and make plays.”

 
WSC held University of Mary to just 29 percent shooting in the first half. The Wildcats were on top 38-22 at intermission.

 
WSC had only one basket through the first eight minutes of the third quarter but held on to win the game.

 
“It always feels great to win games,” Kielsmeier said. “[We] are just onto the next week. We got to play really well this weekend in really tough environments both nights. It’s just about getting better this week and playing better on the road.”

 

 

 

Wayne State 20 17 21 22 80
Minot State 16 12 15 17 60

WSC: Schulte 9-16 5-8 0-0 23; Murren 4-14 3-10 4-4 15; Moore 4-11 2-8 0-0 10; Ballinger 4-6 0-0 2-2 10; O’Connor 3-6 3-6 0-0 9; Martensen 3-3 0-0 0-0 6; Reiner 2-2 0-0 0-0 4; Lowe 1-1 1-1 0-0 3

Wayne State 16 22 9 23 70
University of Mary 10 12 15 17 54
WSC: Schulte 5-13 1-4 6-6 17; Martensen 4-9 0-0 4-7 12; Ballinger 2-5 0-0 6-8 10; Bretoi 3-7 3-7 0-0 9; Murren 2-9 0-4 3-4 7; Moore 2-3 2-2 0-0 6; Reiner 3-8 0-0 3-4 9

Wayne State 11 11 20 17 59
Moorhead 17 10 17 23 67
WSC: Martensen 5-7 0-0 8-12 18; Murren 5-11 2-4 1-2 13; Schulte 3-11 0-2 1-2 7; O’Connor 3-8 0-1 1-2 7; Peterson 2-5 0-0 2-2 6; Ballinger 2-5 0-0 1-2 5; Moore 1-4 1-4 0-0 3

Wayne State 17 7 20 22 66
Northern State 9 16 14 12 51

WSC Schulte 10-19 2-5 6-6 28; Murren 2-8 2-4 6-6 12; Martensen 4-5 0-0 1-7 9; Reiner 3-5 0-0 2-2 8; O’Connor 1-3 1-3 2-2 5; Moore 0-5 0-4 2-2 2; Peterson 0-1 0-0 2-2 2