Fueled by an amazing fourth quarter rally, the Winona State University (WSU) women's basketball team defeated Concordia-St. Paul, 68-67 on Saturday, with senior Emma Fee providing the last-second heroics.
Fee's basket at the buzzer — off an assist from Emily Kieck — capped off a 28-8 final stanza for Winona State, and provided WSU with a split in the weekend series. Concordia - St. Paul led by as many as 20 points and never trailed in the game until the final 40 seconds. Fee finished with 13 points to lead WSU and was the top rebounder for the Warriors on the day, grabbing six boards. The Burnsville, Minn., product was 7-of-10 from the foul line and 3-of-6 from the floor; she also collected two assists.
Head Coach Scott Ballard said, "It was a great team win and another unbelievable comeback.We took care of the ball in the second half and had great energy on defense, forcing CSP into 26 turnovers."
Emily Kieck also went 3-of-6 for the Warriors and dished out four assists, none more important than her helper to Fee on the final play of the game. Kieck collected six trips to the foul line, converting five times en route to 11 points. Warrior teammate Caitlin Riley also reached double digits, scoring 10 points, while Taylor Hustad had nine. Hustad hit a free throw with 00:37 to go in the game, giving the Warriors a one-point lead at 66-65. CSP's Sarah Kuma connected on a jumper in their final possession to put the Golden Bears back up by one, 67-66, but Fee, Kieck and company had the answer on the final play of the contest.
Winona State was 8-of-17 from behind the arc in the game, including hitting three triples in the fourth quarter, while CSP was 0-for-6 on three-pointers in the same period. In a tale of two halves, WSU scored just 22 points before the break, but tallied 46 after halftime, taking advantage of a cold-shooting Concordia-St. Paul team as the game wound down. WSU also worked to get to foul line, getting 28 trips to charity stripe. Fee was particularly effective earning fouls in the paint, with four of her 10 free throws occurring in the final quarter of play.
Ballard noted, "We attacked the lane much smarter in the second half and got to the free throw line well as team."
With the win, the Warriors go 1-1 on the weekend and improve to 3-7 overall and 3-6 in the NSIC South. Winona State will wrap up the 2020-21 season on Friday and Saturday, Feb. 19-20, when they travel to Upper Iowa University for a pair of contests. Tipoff times in Fayette, Iowa, are 6 p.m. and 2 p.m., respectively.