Junior forward Erin Norling scored a career-high 32 points and helped Wayne State rally in the second half as the Wildcats outscored South Dakota School of Mines 47-25, leading the Wildcats to a 78-65 non-conference women’s basketball victory over the Hardrockers Thursday evening in Rapid City, South Dakota. The Wildcats are now 3-1 on the year while South Dakota School of Mines falls to 1-2.
The host Hardrockers started quickly with an 8-2 lead. South Dakota School of Mines held a 13-9 lead, but WSC went on a 10-2 run capped by a Halley Busse 3-pointer to give the ‘Cats a 19-14 lead before finishing the first quarter in front 19-18.
WSC went cold from the field in the second quarter, making just 5 of 20 shots, as South Dakota School of Mines outscored the ‘Cats 22-12 to take a 40-31 lead at halftime.
The Wildcats came out firing on all cylinders in the third quarter, opening the second half with a 16-2 scoring surge in the first four minutes to erase a nine-point deficit and never trail again. WSC built a pair of nine point leads in the third quarter before taking a 57-52 lead into the fourth thanks to 10-18 shooting (55.6%) in the third quarter.
A 10-2 scoring run to open the fourth quarter by the Wildcats never allowed the host Hardrockers to get back into the game as WSC built a double-digit lead they would never relinquish. Wayne State used 9-16 shooting in the fourth quarter (56.3%) as the Wildcats outscored South Dakota School of Mines 47-25 in the second half to rally for the win.
Wayne State made 32 of 71 shots from the field for 45.1 percent, including 5 for 17 behind the arc. The Wildcats were 9 of 15 at the free throw line.
Norling led Wayne State in scoring with a career-best 32 points on 14-25 shooting from the field. Freshman guard Josey Ryan also hit double digits with 12 points.
South Dakota School of Mines shot 41 percent from the floor making 25 of 61 shots. The Hardrockers connected on 9 of 26 from the 3-point line and was 6 for 9 at the charity stripe.
WSC was out-rebounded in the contest 43-36 despite nine rebounds from Norling and seven by Kylie Hammer.
The Wildcats had just nine turnovers in the game while forcing 21, resulting in a 22-3 advantage in points off turnovers.
Halley Busse was credited with five of Wayne State’s 13 assists while Ryan recorded three steals. Center Brittany Bongartz was credited with two blocked shots in the win.
Wayne State will be in action again Saturday visiting Black Hills State in a 5 p.m. Central Time contest.