Wildcat women open with win in California

Wayne State raced out to a 17-0 first-quarter lead and never looked back in rolling to a 77-49 victory over Young Harris College of Georgia Friday afternoon at the Div. II Women’s Basketball Tip Off Classic played at Santiago Canyon College in Orange, Calif.

Junior point guard Maggie Lowe scored on a 3-point play followed by a pair of 3-pointers in the first three minutes of the game giving the Wildcats a 10-0 lead.

Wayne State pushed the advantage to 17-0 before Young Harris finally scored at the 2:10 mark of the first quarter as the Wildcats finished with an 18-8 first quarter lead.

The Mountain Lions held the Wildcats without a basket for a stretch of 7:22 and got as close as five at 20-15 with 7:47 remaining in the first half. But the Wildcats started scoring again and scored six straight to push the lead back to double digits at 26-15 and only let the lead fall into single digits one more time in the second quarter before finishing with a 38-25 halftime lead.

The Wildcats scored the first seven points of the third quarter to push the lead to 20 at 45-25 and never let Young Harris back into the game.

Despite making just 3-of-11 shots in the third quarter, the Wildcats made 9-of-10 free throws and outscored the Mountain Lions 16-11 in the third to take a commanding 54-36 lead into the fourth quarter.

The final stanza was played primarily by Wildcat reserves as all 15 players saw action in the game with 12 of the 15 scoring as Wayne State outscored Young Harris 23-13 in the fourth quarter to end with the easy win.

Lowe was the lone Wildcat in double figures with 15 points, going 5-of-8 from the field including 4-for-6 behind the arc. Kacie O’Connor, Andrea Larson and Brittany Bongartz followed with nine points apiece.

Wayne State won the rebounding battle 49-35 thanks to 11 caroms from Bongartz. Larson and Paige Ballinger each finished with seven.

The Wildcats had 15 assists and just 14 turnovers in the game compared to 11 assists and 17 turnovers for Young Harris, leading to a 25-17 Wildcat advantage in points off turnovers. Erin Norling, Maggie Schulte and O’Connor each had three assists for the Wildcats. Ballinger had three of Wayne State’s four blocked shots.

Wayne State (1-0) will be in action again Saturday, facing #16 Azusa Pacific (Calif.) in an 8:15 p.m. contest at the Division II Tip Off Classic.

The Wayne Herald

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