Wayne State outscored Midland University 20-11 in the third quarter to break open a tight game as the Wildcats closed out their pre-holiday schedule with a 64-53 non-conference women’s basketball victory Wednesday evening over the NAIA 24th-ranked Warriors at Rice Auditorium. WSC is now 8-3 on the year while the game was an exhibition contest for Midland, who is 8-6 on the season.
Neither team led by more than four points in the first quarter as WSC finished with a 16-13 lead.
WSC opened the second quarter with a 3-pointer from Maggie Lowe to take a 19-13 lead, but Midland rallied and used back-to-back 3-pointers from Maddie Meadows to take a 24-23 lead.
Another 3-pointer from Meadows gave Midland their final lead of the game at 27-26 with 3:18 to play in the second quarter.
WSC took the lead for good on a Halley Busse 3-pointer at 29-27 and went in front four at 31-27 on a pair of Haley Vesey free throws before finishing the half with a 34-32 lead at intermission.
The ‘Cats opened the second half strong with a Erin Norling 3-pointer and a Brittany Bongartz layup to take a 39-32 lead.
Midland got within four at 41-37 on a Maddie Egr three-point play with 7:42 to play third quarter.
The game was still close late third quarter with WSC leading 48-43, then the Wildcats closed the third quarter scoring seven straight points to take a 54-43 lead.
The scored the first basket of the fourth quarter on a Brittany Bongartz layup to take their biggest lead of the night at 56-43 with 8:18 to play. Midland got as close as eight points at 56-48 with WSC maintaining a double digit lead the rest of the game with the Wildcats finishing with the 64-53 victory.
Erin Norling led Wayne State in scoring with 19 points followed by Brittany Bongartz with 12.
WSC shot 23 of 63 from the field for 36.5 percent, going 7 of 22 behind the arc and 11 for 16 at the free throw line.
Maddie Egr was the top scorer for Midland with 14 points while Maddie Meadows also reached double digits with 12.
Midland finished the game shooting 27.7 percent, making 18 of 65 shots. The Warriors were 9 of 31 behind the 3-point line and 8 for 12 from the free throw line.
WSC held a 48-39 edge in rebounding over Midland thanks to 12 caroms by Andrea Larson with Haley Vesey adding nine.
Both teams had 15 turnovers in the game, but Midland held a 19-2 advantage in points off turnovers.
Norling had six assists to lead WSC and also had two steals along with Vesey.
The Wildcats are now on Christmas break and resume play on Sunday, December 30th hosting #23 Augustana University in a 1:30 p.m. contest at Rice Auditorium.