Metro State rolls No. 9 Wayne State
Roadrunners win first game against ranked team since 2009
DURANGO, Colo. – No. 10 Metro State put together a dominating first half to cruise to a 74-55 victory against No. 9 Wayne State (Neb.) in the NCAA Central Region semifinals on Saturday. The Roadrunners improved to 29-2 this season, while WSC’s season ended at 26-4.
Brandi Valencia scored six points off the bench.
It was Metro State's first win against a nationally ranked team since topping No. 3 Fort Lewis at home on Dec. 4, 2009.
Metro State quickly jumped out to a 10-2 lead before the first media timeout, scoring on five of its first six possessions.
Wayne State cut the lead to one point at 10-9 with 13:26 left. Metro State used a 14-4 run to build a double-digit lead at 24-13 with eight minutes left and closed the half on a 10-0 run to lead 42-22 at halftime after shooting 57.1 percent and reaching a season-high first-half point total.
The Roadrunners got four offensive rebounds in their first possession of the second half before Kristin Valencia finally put in a layup, setting the tone for the rest of the game.
Metro State led by as many as 25 points in the second half and WSC never got closer than 16 points as the Roadrunners controlled the pace. They finished the game with a 49-29 rebounding margin and held the Wildcats to just 36.4 percent shooting. Metro State’s shooting cooled slightly in the second half, evening out at 45.2 percent for the game.
Cassondra Bratton led Metro State with 20 points, hitting 8-of-14 from the floor and 4-of-4 at the line. She also pulled down eight rebounds and had a career-high six assists.
Alyssa Benson heated up from the outside, burying 4-of-9 from 3-point range for 12 points off the bench. She had three of her triples in the first half.
Jasmine Cervantes was also solid all-around with 10 points, six rebounds and five assists. Defensively, Kristin Valencia set the pace with a game-high nine rebounds and three steals, while chipping in with nine points on the other end. Candice Kohn hit a pair of 3-pointers and finished with eight points.
Metro State will face the winner of Adams State and Northern State (S.D.) on Monday at 7 p.m. in Durango for the Central Region championship and a trip to the Division II Elite Eight in St. Joseph, Mo.