Strong Second Half Powers Wayne State Women Over Bemidji
Posted: 27 February, 2014
WAYNE - The #9 Wayne State women scored 45 second-half points in a 72-42 win over Bemidji State in the opening round of the NSIC Sanford Health Women’s Basketball Tournament played Wednesday evening at Rice Auditorium in Wayne.
The win advances the Wildcats to the quarterfinals on Saturday, March 1 in Sioux Falls, where they will take on Sioux Falls in a 6 p.m. contest at the Pentagon. Wayne State improves to 27-3 on the season with the win, while Bemidji State finishes their season with a 9-18 mark.
After winning the opening tip, Wayne State opened the game on a 9-0 run; using six points from sophomore guard Addy Roller to take control of the game early. Stifling defense forced six Bemidji State turnovers in the first eight minutes of play, holding the Beavers scoreless until Kate Warmack drained a 10-foot jumper for BSU’s first basket of the game.
The two teams traded layups and jumpers in the paint, after which the Wildcats grew their lead to 12 thanks to a trio of points from Jaylan Spencer (a free throw and jumper,) holding a 16-4 lead with 8:05 remaining in the opening frame. A three pointer from Allison Cordes followed shortly by a Katie Miller cut the WSC lead to seven, 16-9 with 7:11 before the half.
Wayne State finished the first half on an 8-4 run, extending their lead to as many as 16 before Bemidji State converted a layup as the buzzer sounded to send the teams to the locker room, WSC leading 27-13.
The Wildcats applied constant pressure defensively in the opening half, forcing 14 turnovers that led to 11 points off turn overs in the frame. Ellen Hansen and Jordan Spencer had three steals a piece in the first half.
Roller led all scorers in the opening frame with 10 points, with Millie Niggeling adding seven for the Wildcats. Five Beavers scored in the opening frame, with Warmack leading the way with 4 points. Bemidji State held a 25-17 edge in boards in the opening half, thanks to Warmack’s 11 rebounds in the first half.
The second period proved to be more of the same for the Wildcats, as they held the Beavers scoreless through the first two minutes, forcing a pair of missed jump shots and a turnover while converting on three of the first four trips to grow the lead to 20, 33-13 with 17:58 remaining in the game. An Allison Cordes jumper would break up the WSC scoring, but not halt it. Millie Niggeling drained a pair of layups, sandwiching an Ellen Hansen trifecta to put the Wildcats up 40-15 with just over 15 minutes remaining.
While Bemidji would not quit, the Wildcat offense proved to be too potent in the opening round of the NSIC tournament, extending their lead to as many as 32 points at two different times in the final frame. Wayne State converted on five of seven trips in the middle of the second period, using a Michala Barry three-pointer, a Niggeling layup and Ashton Yossi trifecta helped to pace WSC down the stretch.
The Beavers scored six of the final 10 points of the game, their most lopsided run of the night, but it wouldn’t be enough to upend the hot offense from the Wildcats on the night. WSC advances to play another day with a 72-42 win.
Wayne State was led on the night by Millie Niggeling, who finished with 18 points. Addy Roller, Jaylan Spencer, Ashton Yossi and Jordan added 10, 9, 8, and 8, respectively. The Wildcats shot 41.0 percent from the floor in the win, including going 5-11 (45.5 percent) from beyond the arc.
After struggling on the boards in the opening half, the Wildcats finished the game with the 42-41 edge in boards, also winning the battle of points in the paint (30-22), points off turnovers (18-2), points off fast breaks (18-0) and bench points (37-5.)
Bemidji State was led by Kate Warmack, who scored 14 points and collected 16 rebounds. Morgan Lee added 10 points for the Beavers. BSU finished shooting 31.7 percent from the floor.