The University of Sioux Falls used 59 percent shooting through the first three quarters to defeat Wayne State College 103-76 Saturday afternoon in the NSIC Sanford Health Women’s Basketball Tournament quarterfinals played at the Sanford Pentagon. WSC ends the season with a 15-15 record while USF has won 10 straight games and is now 23-7 heading into Monday’s semifinals.
Erin Norling’s layup on the first possession of the game was Wayne State’s only lead of the contest at 2-0. Another Norling basket, who scored the first eight points for WSC, at the 7:03 mark tied the score at 6-6.
Sioux Falls then scored the next seven points for a 13-6 advantage.
The Wildcats got within two later in the first quarter at 19-17 following a Brittany Bongartz three-point play with 2:51 to play in the quarter. Sioux Falls then scored the final 10 points of the quarter to take a 29-17 lead after the opening stanza, finishing the first 10 minutes making 9 of 13 shots from the field (69%) and 9-9 free throws.
The hot-shooting Cougars continued their scoring streak into the second quarter, scoring the first five points while holding WSC scoreless for a stretch of 5:20 to take a 34-17 lead. The ‘Cats ended the scoreless drought on a Bongartz layup at the 7:31 mark of the quarter.
WSC battled back to within 12 at 36-24 on a Kylie Hammer layup with 6:27 to go in the half. With the ‘Cats trailing 46-31 at the 2:28 mark before halftime, Sioux Falls capped the sizzling shooting in the first half with a 8-2 run to take a 54-33 lead at intermission.
Sioux Falls eliminated any chance of a Wildcat comeback in the second half, starting the third quarter with a 14-4 run. The sizzling shooting for the Cougars continued in the third stanza as USF made 13 of 22 shots (59%) and took a commanding 90-51 lead after three quarters.
The Wildcats had a strong fourth quarter, outscoring the Cougars 25-13 while shooting 11 of 16 from the field (68.8%) as Sioux Falls ended the game with a 103-76 victory.
Sophomore forward Erin Norling led the Wildcats with a career-best 29 point outing, making 14 of 21 shots from the field. Sophomores Brittany Bongartz and Halley Busse each added 10 points for WSC in the contest.
Wayne State ended the contest shooting 30 of 65 from the field for 46.2 percent, going 5 of 17 behind the arc and 11 for 14 at the chartiy stripe.
Lauren Sanders paced five Sioux Falls players in double figures with 21 points. Anna Goodhope scored 20, Kaely Hummel 17, Mariah Szymanski 16 and Krystal Carslon 10.
The Cougars ended the game shooting an even 50 percent on 36 of 72, but spent the first three quarters hovering around 60 percent. USF was 14 for 27 from the 3-point line and a perfect 17 for 17 at the charity stripe.
Sioux Falls held a slight 38-34 edge in rebounding over the Wildcats. Norling, Busse and Bongartz each grabbed six boards for WSC.
Kylie Hammer handed out a team-high five assists and had two of Wayne State’s three steals. Bongartz was credited with two blocks.
The game marked final contest for three Wildcat seniors – Andrea Larson, Maggie Lowe and Taylor Reiner.