Slow start costs Wildcats in California
Wayne State College could not overcome a 25-10 first-quarter deficit as the Wildcats lost to No. 16 Azusa Pacific 89-81 Saturday evening at the Division II Tip Off Classic in Orange, Calif.
The Wildcats made just 2-of-15 shots in the first quarter and found themselves trailing 25-10 after 10 minutes of action.
Wayne State still trailed by double figures the entire second quarter, but used 12-of-14 free throw shooting to score offensively while making just 5-of-14 shots from the field as Azusa Pacific held a 43-32 lead at intermission.
In the third, the Wildcats got as close as six points at 52-46 following an Erin Norling layup with 4:28 to play in the quarter, but Azusa Pacific finished the quarter with a 62-50 advantage.
Wayne State again would cut the Cougars lead to six several times in the fourth quarter, the first coming with 4:16 to play when Paige Ballinger made a pair of free throws to get the Wildcats within six at 80-74. Azusa Pacific answered every Wildcat rally, however, and finished with the eight-point win.
Senior Maggie Schulte paced Wayne State in scoring with a game-high 35 points that included 18-for-20 at the free throw line. She also grabbed 10 rebounds for a double-double. Ballinger also hit double digits for Wayne State with 17 points.
Savanna Hanson accounted for 19 points and 15 rebounds to lead four players in double figures for the Cougars. Gabrielle Kaiser followed with 16 while Rachel Bozlee and Samantha Huddleston added 14 and 13 points, respectively.
Maggie Lowe and Kacie O’Connor each had three assists for Wayne State, while Ballinger had four of Wayne State’s five blocks in the contest.
Wayne State (1-1) will conclude play at the Division II Tip Off Classic Sunday afternoon with a 12:45 p.m. contest against Wisconsin-Parkside.