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WSC Women Hang On To Beat SMSU

Posted: 10 December, 2012

WAYNE - #15 Wayne State was able to close out Southwest Minnesota State for their 51st straight victory at Rice Auditorium after a back and forth second half when the Wildcats took the final lead of the game with 41 seconds remaining in regulation. Ashton Yossi scored a career-high 25 points to help WSC improve to 5-1 on the season and 2-1 in conference play while the Mustangs fall to 1-7 overall and 0-3 in the NSIC.
            Wayne State built an early lead in the opening minutes of the game as the ‘Cats jumped out to a 9-2 advantage over SMSU before the Mustangs went on a 6-0 run to pull within one point at 9-8. Jordan Spencer hit a driving layup to momentarily give Wayne State the momentum back before SMSU went on an 8-3 run to take their first lead of the game at 16-14 on a layup by Ellen Degler. Southwest Minnesota State would hold the lead for almost all of the rest of the first half and built their biggest lead of seven points when Rebekay Rolling hit a three-pointer with 34 seconds remaining in the first half to give SMSU a 38-31 advantage. Addy Roller would cut into that lead just prior to intermission as she was fouled and hit both free throws with five seconds before halftime to cut the WSC deficit to 38-33 as the teams hit the locker rooms. Southwest Minnesota State held advantages in points in the paint (18-10) and bench points (16-1) in the first half while Wayne State had the edge in points off turnovers (14-12) and second chance points (3-2).
            Ashton Yossi came out firing in the second half for the ‘Cats as she buried a three pointer just 11 seconds into second half play and then gave Wayne State a 40-38 lead on a layup a few minutes later. WSC would build on that lead as Ellen Hansen, Jordan Spencer and Whitney Epp each had baskets to build the ‘Cats lead to 46-41. SMSU’s Alison Nagel went on a 5-0 run of her own with a three pointer and a jumper to even things up at 46-46 with 13 minutes remaining in the game. Over the next ten minutes of play neither team could gain much momentum as no one had a lead bigger than four points. Nagel tied the game for the sixth time at 3:58 remaining on the game clock with a jumper and 50 seconds later Hope Bonlander gave the Mustangs a 61-59 lead over WSC. Ellen Hansen would tie things up again at 61-61 while knocking down two key free throws. Hansen then scored what proved to be the game winning basket as she drove to the hoop for the go-ahead layup with 41 seconds remaining in regulation as Wayne State took a 63-61 victory. Hansen and Yossi then combined for three free throws in the final 14 seconds to the seal the victory for the Wildcats.
            Wayne State was able to pull off the victory despite the Mustangs holding the advantage in shooting percentage (48.1%-34.5%). The Wildcats were 19-55 from the field (34.5 percent), 4-18 from three point range (22.2%) and 24-27 (88.9) from the charity stripe while SMSU went 26-54 from the field (48.1 percent), 3-11 from behind the arc (27.3%) and 6-11 (54.4%) from the free throw line. Southwest Minnesota State outrebounded Wayne State 35-34 while also having the edge in assists 16-12. The Wildcats held the advantage in steals 10-9 and both teams had five blocks on the night.
            Ashton Yossi led the team in scoring with a career-high 25 points while stuffing the stat sheet with three assists, three steals, two blocks and two rebounds. Jordan Spencer had a double-double in the game with 16 points and 13 rebounds and Ellen Hansen scored six of the team’s final eight points for 13 points in the contest. Addy Roller led the team in assists with five and Whitney Epp was the team leader in blocks with three.
            Southwest Minnesota State had two players score in double-digits as Ellen Degler’s 21 points led the team and Alison Nagel chipped in 13 points.
            Wayne State is on the road next weekend for a pair of Northern Sun Conference games, playing at Upper Iowa Friday evening at 6 p.m. and Winona State Saturday at 4 p.m.

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