Three Wildcats named to NSIC All-Conference team

Seniors Paige Ballinger and Maggie Schulte and freshman Erin Norling represent Wayne State on the All-Northern Sun Conference Women’s Basketball Team announced Thursday.

Ballinger and Schulte both received first-team All-NSIC accolades while Norling was named to the All-Freshmen Team as voted on by league coaches.

Ballinger, a 6-foot-1 center from Pender, is a first-team All-NSIC selection for a third straight season.  In NSIC games, Ballinger averaged 12.8 points and 6.0 rebounds per game recording four games of 20 or more points with three double-doubles.  She was second in blocked shots per game (2.2), ninth in field goal percentage (.486), 10th in free throw percentage (.825) and 16th in scoring.

Overall this season, Ballinger led the Wildcats in scoring at 12.1 points per game to go with 6.1 rebounds a contest.  She was second overall with 2.4 blocks per game while ranking 10th in field goal percentage (.488) and 12th in free throw percentage (.809). Ballinger ranks ninth in career scoring at Wayne State with 1,433 points and is the all-time blocked shot leader with 213.

Schulte, a 6-foot forward from Wynot, received first-team All-NSIC honors after being named second-team All-NSIC as a sophomore and junior. In NSIC games this season, she produced 11.0 points with a team-high 6.3 rebounds per game, recording two double-doubles and three games of 20 or more points. She led the NSIC in 3-point field goal percentage (.512) making 22-of-43 shots behind the arc, was fourth in free throw percentage (.859), seventh in defensive rebounds per game (5.23), seventh in assist/turnover ratio (1.8) and tied for eighth in assist per game (3.2).

Overall this season, Schulte averaged 11.2 points and 6.4 rebounds a contest for the Wildcats.  She led the league in 3-point field goal percentage (.478), was sixth in free throw percentage (.860), seventh in defensive rebounds per game (5.2) and 12th in assists per game (3.0). Schulte is a four-year starter at WSC and has started more games (124) than any player in school history. She ranks 10th in career scoring (1,406) and is seventh in rebounds with 748 and is one of only five players in school history to record over 1,300 points and 700 rebounds.

Norling, a 5-foot-11 forward from Loretto, Minn., was one of five players named to the NSIC All-Freshmen Team. She averaged 9.0 points and 3.7 rebounds per game in NSIC games this season, ranking sixth in field goal percentage making 49.4 percent (85-172) from the field.  Norling scored double figures in 11 conference games this season and hit the game-winning shot at the buzzer in a 60-59 win at Winona State on Feb. 17.

Overall this season, Norling played in all 31 games with 28 starts and ranked third on the team in scoring with 9.2 points per game along with 3.8 rebounds. She ranked fifth in the NSIC in field goal percentage, connecting on 119 of 233 shots for 51.1 percent.  Norling had a season-best 19 points vs. Wisconsin-Parkside (Nov. 5) to highlight 15 games of double-digit scoring.

Wayne State College is 25-6 overall and placed second in the NSIC South Division with an 18-4 league mark. The Wildcats defeated Minnesota Crookston Wednesday evening 72-59 in the first round of the NSIC Sanford Health Women’s Basketball Tournament and now face Concordia-St. Paul Sunday at 2:30 p.m. in the quarter-finals at the Sanford Pentagon in Sioux Falls, S.D.

The Wayne Herald

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