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WILDCATS USE FOURTH QUARTER RICE AUDITORIUM MAGIC TO RALLY FOR WIN OVER MINNESOTA CROOKSTON

December 17, 2018

Wayne State trailed for nearly the entire game, but used a season-high 29 point fourth quarter to rally for an 88-83 Northern Sun Conference women’s basketball victory over Minnesota Crookston Sunday afternoon at Rice Auditorium in Wayne.

The Wildcats, now 130-13 over the last 10 seasons in Rice Auditorium, are 7-3 on the season and 3-2 in NSIC games while UMC drops to 7-4 and 2-3 in league play.

The Wildcats trailed 14-4 less than four minutes into the game and trailed the entire contest until taking their first lead with 7:34 remaining in the game. WSC held the lead for just 4:43 of the game while UMC led for 31:22 with the game tied for 3:54.

Despite trailing 14-4 and 21-11 in the first quarter, the Wildcats closed the quarter strong and got within four at 24-20 following quarter-ending 3-pointers by Kylie Hammer and Andrea Larson.

UMC pushed the lead back to 10 several times in the second quarter with the Wildcats again closing the quarter strong to cut into the deficit.

The Golden Eagles led 34-24 at the 3:43 mark of the second quarter, then WSC used back-to-back treys from Maggie Lowe and a layup from Amelia Ivester to trim the deficit to 34-32 before ending the half with a 39-35 deficit.

In the third quarter, Minnesota Crookston maintained the lead and was in front by 11 at 63-52 before ending the quarter with a 66-59 lead.

WSC started the fourth quarter with a 11-2 run and took their first lead of the game at 70-68 on a 3-pointer from Hammer with 7:34 to play.

The two teams then traded six ties and three lead changes down the stretch until WSC scored the final six points of the game for the victory.

The ’Cats took an 82-78 lead on a Lowe 3-pointer with 3:44 remaining, but the Golden Eagles used a 3-pointer by Caitlin Michaelis and a layup from Isieoma Odor to take their final lead at 83-82 with 1:57 to play.

Larson and Hammer made a pair of free throws each to put WSC in front 86-83, then Hammer sealed the win with two more free throws with three seconds to play for the 88-83 win.

Hammer led five double digit scorers for WSC with a career/season-high 19 points, going 5 of 10 from the field and 6 for 7 at the free throw stripe. Erin Norling added 18 points followed by Larson with 12 points and 13 rebounds for her first double-double of the season. Halley Busse and Brittany Bongartz each contributed 12 points for WSC.

The Wildcats shot 44.4 percent from the field, making 32 of 72 shots. WSC was 10 of 27 behind the arc and 14 for 18 at the charity stripe.

Isieoma Odor paced Minnesota Crookston with 29 points on 13 of 22 shooting. Caitlin Michaelis followed with 15 points while Paige Weakley and Bren Fox also hit double digits for the Golden Eagles with 14 and 10 points.

UMC made 32 of 69 shots for 46.4 percent, going 12 for 28 from the 3-point line and 7 for 7 at the stripe.

Minnesota Crookston held a slim 39-37 advantage in rebounds over WSC thanks to 13 caroms by Fox while Larson led the Wildcats with 13 rebounds.

Hammer had five of Wayne State’s 19 assists and also had three steals. Norling led WSC with five steals while Larson, Bongartz and Ivester each had two blocked shots.

The Wildcats will close out the pre-Christmas schedule with a non-conference game Wednesday evening hosting Midland University at 5:30 p.m.

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