The Winona State University women’s basketball team entered Friday night’s tile against Wayne State looking to rebound from a tough loss to Northern State last weekend. The Warriors did just that, as they shot nearly 55 percent from the field to down the Wildcat, 83-75.
Winona State improves to 10-3 (6-3 NSIC) after completing a season sweep of Wayne State, while the Wildcats fall to 10-5 (5-4 NSIC).
A three-pointer by Allie Pickrain gave the home team a 14-point lead early in the fourth quarter, but the Wildcats clawed their way back into the contest. Wayne State outscored WSU 19-8 over the next six minutes to cut the Warrior lead to three points with 3:09 remaining.
After a Warrior timeout, Taylor Hustad connected on a timely layup to stop the bleeding, and Emily Kieck converted an and-one to stretch the Winona State lead back to eight points. The Warriors never looked back from there as they played lock-down defense over the final minutes to secure the win.
Hustad posted her eighth double-double of the season with a team-high 20 points and 12 boards, but it was Emily Kieck who stole the show, recording her first career double-double with 11 points and a career-best 11 assists. It marked the second time this season WSU has had a pair of double-doubles after Hustad and Sydney Lodermeier produced the feat at Quincy in late November.
The first quarter was tightly contested, with the Warriors leading by nine with 2:26 to go in the quarter. The Wildcats stormed back with six straight points to cut the Warriors lead to 18-15 at the end of the first frame.
The second quarter went much like the first, with the Warriors gaining a six-point advantage midway through off a jumper from Emma Fee and a layup by Kieck. However, the pesky Wildcats continued to battle and used a five-point run to knot the score at 33-apiece heading to the locker room.
The Warriors took control in the third quarter, with Fee hitting two jumpers right off the bat to give momentum to WSU. A three-pointer by Taylor Klug gave the Warriors an eight-point lead with three minutes to go, and, after the Wildcats cut the lead to six with one-minute remaining, Caitlin Riley did what she does best. The freshman hit a pair of threes in the final minute of the frame, including one at the buzzer, to give the Warriors a 56-46 advantage heading to the fourth quarter.
The Warriors will now set their sights on another season sweep when Augustana University travels to Winona on Saturday afternoon. Tipoff is set for 3:30 p.m. inside McCown Gymnasium.