sports 2 days ago

Women's college basketball: Wolves hang on against Wayne

American News, Aberdeen, S.D. — Emily Horos American News, Aberdeen, S.D.

Jan. 13--The supporting caste of the Northern State women's basketball team did its share of the work Friday as the Wolves downed Wayne State 81-71 in a Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference game.

Miranda Ristau led the Wolves with 27 points, while fellow starters Jill Conrad and Alexis Tappe added 10 points each. Still, difference between the two teams could most easily been seen in the play of their non-starters.

No. 20 Northern got 24 points from its bench, while Wayne received just 16. Those numbers don't take into consideration the five points scored by Brynn Flakus, who isn't usually in the starting lineup for the Wolves. The senior from Aberdeen got the start in place of Jessi Marti, who is out indefinitely after suffering a concussion in the Wolves win over Minot State a week ago.

Northern went to Ristau early on and built a 19-14 lead in the first quarter. Brianna Kusler hit a 3-pointer early in the second quarter to make it a 10-point game, 24-14. The lead grew to as many as 20 points when Ristau made back-to-back shots with under 4 minutes to play in the half.

A run by the Wildcats made it 41-28 at the half.

Northern again pushed the lead to 20 points in the third quarter only to see their pushed answered by another one from Wayne. The Wildcats scored the final eight points of the third quarter and trailed 61-49.

Both Ristau and Conrad fouled out in the fourth, but it wouldn't matter. Wayne cut the lead to eight with a three-point play, but it was too little, too late. Kusler locked up the 10-point victory with a pair of free throws.

"They are a good team," Northern State head coach Curt Fredrickson said of Wayne. "We threw the ball around a little bit in the last 5 minutes and made it interesting. They hit some 3s and we didn't shoot very well and let two of our best players foul out. That's what you get."

Ristau add 10 rebounds to her stat line to finished with a double-double. Tappe and Kusler added seven rebounds each. Haley Froelich scored nine points off the bench and was one of four players to hit a 3-pointer as the team was 4-for-6 from beyond the arc. Conrad led the team with eight assists and Ristau finished with five.

The Wolves were just 5-for-11 from the free-throw line.

"Brynn Flakus and Haley really ate up minutes (Friday)," Fredrickson said. "Both of them did a nice job, especially Haley tossing some shots in."

Wayne was led by Maggie Schulte with 22 points and Paige Ballinger with 18.

Northern State returns to action Saturday when it hosts Augustana at 4 p.m. The Vikings (14-1, 10-1 NSIC) suffered their first loss of the season Friday when they fell to Minnesota State Moorhead, 75-64. A win by Northern Saturday would give the Wolves the best record in the conference.

"We played a very good game with (Augustana) last year in Sioux Falls," Fredrickson said. "We were right there with them in the first half. It was a very good basketball game between two good teams."

The Wolves lost that game 76-71.

Follow sports editor Emily Horos @ejhoros_AAN on Twitter, email ehoros@aberdeennews.com or call 605-622-2323.

Northern State 81,

Wayne State 71

NSIC at Wachs Arena

Wayne State (14-5, 8-3): Erin Norling 2-4 1-2 5, Maggie Schulte 8-16 4-4 22, Paige Ballinger 6-8 6-7 18, Kacie O'Connor 3-9 0-0 8, Halley Busse 0-1 2-2 2, Haley Vesey 0-4 1-2 1, Maggie Lowe 2-6 1-2 7, Evelyn Knox 0-1 0-0 0, Payton Draper 0-1 2-2 2, Taylor Reiner 1-2 0-0 2, Andrea Larson 0-5 0-0 0, Brittany Bongartz 1-3 2-2 4. Totals 23-60 19-23 71.

Northern State (14-2, 10-1): Jill Conrad 5-14 0-0 10, Miranda Ristau 13-20 1-2 27, Brynn Flakus 2-3 0-2 5, Alexis Tappe 5-9 0-0 10, Brianna Kusler 1-4 2-2 5, Haley Froelich 4-6 0-0 9, Gabby Laimer 1-1 0-0 3, Anika Fredrick 2-3 0-0 4, Sara Tvedt 1-2 1-4 3, Alayna Johnson 2-2 1-1 5. Totals 36-64 5-11 81.

Wayne State 14 14 21 22 -- 71

Northern State 19 22 20 20 -- 81

3-point field goals -- Wayne State 6-18 (Schulte 2-3, O'Connor 2-6, Busse 0-1, Vesey 0-2, Lowe 2-5, Knox 0-1); Northern State 4-6 (Conrad 0-1, Flakus 1-1, Tappe 0-1, Kusler 1-1, Froelich 1-1, Laimer 1-1). Total Fouls -- Wayne State 16; Northern State 19. Fouled out -- Ristau, Conrad. Rebounds -- Wayne State 29 (Norling 2, Schulte 4, Ballinger 3, O'Connor 4, Busse 1, Vesey 3, Draper 2, Reiner 1, Larson 4, Bongartz 2); Northern State 41 (Conrad 5, Ristau 10, Flakus 1, Tappe 7, Kusler 7, Froelich 2, Fredrick 2, Team 5). Assists -- Wayne State 12 (Norling 1, Schulte 3, Ballinger 1, Busse 1, Vesey 1, Lowe 3, Larson 2); Northern State 24 (Conrad 8, Ristau 5, Flakus 2, Tappe 1, Kusler 3, Froelich 1, Fredrick 4). Turnovers -- Wayne State 14; Northern State 18. Steals -- Wayne State 11 (Norling 1, Ballinger 1, O'Connor 1, Vesey 1, Brainerd 1, Lowe 5, Reiner 1); Northern State 7 (Ristau 1, Tappe 2, Kusler 2, Froelich 1, Tvedt 1). Blocks -- Wayne State 5 (Ballinger 4, Bongartz 1); Northern State 2 (Ristau 1, Flakus 1).

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