Wayne State outscored Nebraska-Kearney 41-25 in the second half, holding the Lopers to just 8 of 28 shooting, as the Wildcats posted a 69-52 win to close out the MIAA/NSIC Crossover Women’s Basketball Tournament played at Rice Auditorium in Wayne. WSC improved to 127-13 over the last 10 seasons in Rice Auditorium and is now 2-0 on the season while UNK falls to 0-2.
With the score tied at 6-6 with just over 3:00 to play in the first quarter, WSC went on a 10-2 run that was fueled by eight straight points from Haley Vesey off the bench to put the ‘Cats in front 16-9 before finishing the first quarter with a 16-12 lead.
UNK opened the second quarter with a 8-2 run and took the lead at 20-18. The ‘Cats came back with a scoring surge and led 28-24 following a Kylie Hammer layup before ending the half with a 28-27 lead.
Most of the third quarter remained close until WSC put together a late scoring surge to take the lead for good.
The game’s eighth and final tie came at 35-35 with 4:08 to go third quarter. WSC closed the quarter with treys from Hammer, Andrea Larson and Halley Busse to take a 48-41 lead entering the fourth quarter.
A three-point play from Busse gave WSC their first double digit lead of the night at 55-43 with 2:29 to play and the Wildcats extended the lead making 17 of 19 free throws late in the game to post a 69-52 win.
Busse posted a game-high 17 points to go with six rebounds, six assists and four steals to pace the Wildcats. Maggie Lowe and Andrea Larson also hit double digits with 11 points apiece.
Wayne State was 18 of 49 shooting for the game for 36.7 percent, going 5 of 16 behind the arc (31.3%) and 28 of 33 from the charity stripe (84.8%).
For Nebraska-Kearney, Megan Holt scored nine points followed by Brooke Carlson with seven.
The Lopers were 18 for 53 shooting for 34 percent, including 8 of 28 from the 3-point line and 8 of 14 at the free throw line.
UNK held a slight 35-34 advantage in rebounding over WSC. Erin Norling grabbed nine boards for the ‘Cats with Busse and Taylor Wangerin each grabbing six. Busse had six of Wayne State’s 15 asssists and four of the team’s 15 steals.
The Wildcats resume play next weekend at the Subway Classic in Quincy, Illinois battling Truman State Friday at 5 p.m. and host Quincy University Saturday in a 3 p.m. contest.