On-deck: WSU women host pair of NSIC opponents

The Winona State women’s basketball team has climbed to No. 10 in the national rankings, and will host a pair of NSIC opponents at McCown Gymnasium on Friday and Saturday on HBC.

WSU (8-0, 1-0) have been outstanding on its home floor over the past season-plus, winning 18 of its last 19 at the friendly confines, and will face Southwest Minnesota State on Friday and Sioux Falls on Saturday.

The Warriors began their conference schedule with an 83-58 victory at Upper Iowa last Saturday, and in the five games since their return from a three-game trip to California to begin the season, have an average margin of victory of 35 points.

In fact, Winona State have not won by less than 22 points since its three-point win over Cal State — Dominguez Hills in the season-opener.Scott Ballard’s club averages 80.5 points per game and shoot 41.3 percent from 3-point range and 89.3 percent from the free throw line, while holding opponents to just 35.8 percent from the floor.

The scoring has been balanced, with four players averaging double figures through eight games. Tara Roelofs leads the team at 14.9 points per game, with Alexis Foley at 12.8, Kayla Timmerman accounting for 12.7 and Connor Nagle adding 10.6 each time out.

Foley, Nagle and Roelofs have been outstanding from beyond the arc, as well, knocking down 48 percent of their attempts (49-for-102) on the season.

Timmerman also goes for six rebounds and 2.3 blocks per contest, while Hannah McGlone has corralled 5.3 boards per game.

Southwest Minnesota State (1-5, 0-1) have two trios of players doing the heavy lifting when it comes to scoring and rebounding.

Annessa Rosch (11.7), Hope Bonlander (11.5) and Lauren Hedlund (10.0) averaging 33.2 points per game, while Bonlander (6.2), Hedlund (5.2) and Taylor Holicky (5.2) accruing 16.6 rebounds a game.

Sioux Falls comes to McCown Gymnasium on Saturday, and may prove the biggest test the Warriors have faced early in the season. Through December 3, the Cougars are undefeated (7-0, 1-0), and ranked for the first time in program history, coming in at No. 21.

Taylor Varsho leads Sioux Falls with 19 points per game, closely followed by Sam Knecht’s 12.3. Amber Paden goes for seven points per, but has been sniper-like, drilling 17-of-26 attempts from the field (65.4%).

Knecht leads the Cougars with 7.4 rebounds per game, while Allison Klostergaard has pulled down 6.6 and Madi Robson has dished out 5.1 assists per contest.

Pregame gets underway at 5:45 with tip-off at 6 p.m. against Southwest Minnesota State on Friday, with pregame at 3:45 and the ball goes in the air at 4 p.m. against Sioux Falls on Saturday.

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