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Cougars Come Up Short In Upset Bid

Taylor Varsho, University of Sioux Falls Cougars
University of Sioux Falls

SIOUX FALLS, SD — The University of Sioux Falls women’s basketball team came into Friday’s game at the Stewart Center looking for an upset, but came up short in a 79-71 loss to No. 22 Wayne State College. The Cougars relied on a team effort in their upset bid as eight of the ten Cougar players who saw action scored for USF.

The Wildcats started off the game on a 10-0 run which was capped off by an Ellen Hansen three point shot. WSC maintained a comfortable lead until the Cougars went on a 22-10 run to tie up the game with less than five minutes remaining in the half. Shelby Hemmann was efficient for the Cougars during that stretch as she scored 11 points in a span of just over 10 minutes.

It looked as though the game would head into the break as a tie, but Teagan Molden was fouled on a three point shot with less than one second left after Chrissy Strassburg forced a Wayne State turnover. Molden then hit two of the three free throws to give USF a 35-33 lead heading into the half.

The Wildcats took control of the game in the second half as a Jordan Spencer layup helped WSC take a lead they would not give up in the final 16:30 of the second half.

Spencer again looked to put away the Cougars with just over seven minutes left as she made another shot in the paint, giving the Wildcats an 11 point lead. However, USF continued to fight back as they answered back with ten straight points to get within one point of WSC. However, two timely Millie Niggeling three-point shots helped the Wildcats keep the lead as they closed out the game.

Wayne State increased their margin of victory in the final minute of the game at the free throw line as they went 7-for-8 from the stripe.

The Cougars ended the game shooting 43.6% from the field and 50% from behind the arc.

The Cougars had four players in double digits, and were led in scoring by Shelby Hemmann who dropped 17 points on 7-of-13 shooting. Hemmann also grabbed five rebounds for the Cougars.

Laura Johnson also contributed to the Cougars upset effort as she scored 15 points and grabbed 9 rebounds.

Taylor Varsho also provided a spark for the Cougars as she scored 13 points, grabbed five rebounds, and recorded two assists for USF.

WSC’s Jordan Spencer led all scorers with 22 points.

The Cougars will return to action Saturday against crosstown rival and the No. 10 team in Division II in Augustana College. The game is set to begin at 4 p.m. at the Stewart Center.

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Courtesy:  University of Sioux Falls

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