WSU Women Drop Final Regular Season Home Games
From: WSU Sports Information
Photo: Craig Johnson
The Winona State University women’s basketball team had its five-game home winning streak snapped Friday night as the Warriors fell inside McCown Gymnasium to Concordia-St. Paul, 80-68.
The Golden Bears shot an impressive 65 percent from the field while holding WSU to just a 37 percent clip.
The Warriors contained the top-ranked team in the NSIC South early in the ballgame by forcing five CSP turnovers in the first quarter and building a seven-point lead on the scoreboard. However, the Golden Bears clawed there way back from a 14-7 deficit midway through the frame and used a 10-2 run late in the period to pull in front, 19-18. CSP proceeded to hold onto the lead for the remainder of the evening.
Winona State struggled to find the basket in the second quarter as just three shots fell for the Warriors in the frame. The Golden Bears distanced themselves from WSU in the frame going 11-for-16 from the field to build a 17-point lead at the break. CSP’s 10-run run late in the frame was halted by a three-point play by Sydney Lodermeier that provided a brief spark for the Warriors’ before halftime.
WSU forced seven CSP turnovers in the first half of action, but only converted those miscues into five points offensively. On the flip side, the Golden Bears cashed in 10 points off five Warrior turnovers over the first two quarters.
Senior Kayla Shaefer knocked down her first two shots of the second half as the Warriors’ attempted to chip away at their double-digit deficit. Allie Pickrain converted on three straight attempts herself, including a pair from downtown, to slash the CSP lead to 51-40 at the 6:39 mark.
CSP quickly snuffed out the WSU rally though, going on a seven-point run to pad its advantage back to 18 points with 3:48 left in the third quarter. The Golden Bears would eventually carry a 20-point lead into the final frame.
Winona State made one push in the fourth quarter, cutting it to a 12-point game, but the Warriors simply could not stop the Golden Bears offensively. The 80 points allowed matches a season-high for WSU which came into the game with a scoring defense that averaged less than 60 points per contest.
Pickrain tallied her fifth 20-point game of the season in the loss while going 4-for-7 from beyond the arc. Emily Kieck chipped in 10 points and three assists for WSU.
Winona State drops to 14-11 (12-9 NSIC) with the loss while the regionally-rank Golden Bears improve to 20-6 (16-5 NSIC).
It wasn’t the Senior Night celebration Winona State University had planned for, but the Warriors, along with seniors Rachel Novotny and Kayla Schaefer, will have one more chance to play in front of their home crowd next week in the NSIC Tournament after WSU dropped the final game of the regular season Saturday to Minnesota State, 55-49.
The Mavericks forced 17 Winona State turnovers which matched a season high for the Warriors. Mankato was able to turn those miscues into 16 points offensively, including 10 in the first half for 12 points. Offensively, the Warriors shot below 40 percent for the second straight contest.
Despite the sloppy first half, Winona State went into the locker room trailing just 31-30. Emily Kieck scored six of the Warriors’ final eight points of the opening half.
After out-scoring the Mavericks in the second quarter, the Warrior offense went cold after the break and shot just 2-of-11 from the field. Mankato ceased the opportunity to distance themselves in the frame by padding their lead to 36-44 heading to the fourth.
Winona State didn’t go away quietly in the final quarter though, and set up a competitive finish. The Warriors opened the frame with an eight-point run to erase their deficit entirely and knot the score at 44-all. Julia Silloway and Schaefer connected on threes, and a jumper by Allie Pickrain tied the game.
With the Mavericks back in front by five at the 3:38 mark, Gabie Doud drilled a three-pointer to make it a one-possession game. However, just as it did in the third quarter, the Warrior offense went silent from there. Mankato went on an eight-point run over the next two minutes as WSU was held without a field goal for the remainder of the contest.
The Mavericks out-rebounded the Warriors, 40-31, including 12 offensive boards after WSU held the advantage on the glass in the first half of play.
Pickrain was the only Warrior in double digits in the scoring column in the loss, registering 19 points. Novotny had a team-best nine rebounds.
Winona State finishes the regular season with a record of 14-12 (12-10 NSIC). Minnesota State (14-12, 11-11 NSIC) remains one game back in the final conference standings.
The Warriors will look to shake off back-to-back home losses when Winona State hosts Minot State in the opening round of the NSIC Tournament on Wednesday, February 27. Tipoff is slated for 6 p.m. in McCown Gymnasium.