Wisconsin-Parkside drops Ferris State
Endisch sinks six 3-pointers to lead Rangers to victory
ASHLAND, Ohio -- Wisconsin-Parkside earned its second consecutive trip to the NCAA tournament Round of 16 with a 71-57 victory against Ferris State on Saturday. The Rangers used a big second-half run, fueled by its defense, to move into Monday's Midwest Regional Championship game.
Parkside will take on top-seeded and second-ranked Ashland (30-1) in Monday night's title game. The Eagles advanced with a 71-69 win against Quincy in the second game on Saturday night.
Jenna Endisch led the attack with 22 points. The junior from Muskego knocked down six 3-pointers matching her career-high. She also had two steals and took a couple of charges to spark the defensive effort.
“What she did on the defensive end was every bit as important as her knocking down those shots,” head coach Jenny Knight-Kenesie said. “She's a smart player who understands the game and she made big plays on that end as well.”
Brittany Beyer finished with 18 points, six rebounds, and a career-high five steals. Jadee Rooney came up big as well with 16 points and a game-best six assists.
The Ranger defense led by Sarah DeShone. Kaitlyn Bettiga and Jaleesa Trussell pressured DeShone all night forcing eight turnovers and limiting her to just five points and a 1-for-8 effort from the field.
“Those kids [Bettiga and Trussell] were determined to wear her down and make her work,” Kenesie said. “She's so good and we wanted to make sure that when she did get her shots we were going to do everything we could to tire her out and make it a little tougher.”
After trailing by as many as 11 in the first half, and by nine with 13:30 remaining, the Rangers exploded for a 20-1 run to shock the Bulldogs and capture the momentum.
Beyer played a huge role in the spurt scoring eight consecutive points thanks in part to steals on three consecutive Ferris State possessions. Her last layup with 10:34 remaining gave the Rangers a 48-47 lead, their first of the game.
The roll continued as Danielle Slivka and Rooney scored off of Bulldog turnovers. Bettiga then took it from DeShone near half court and got to the free-throw line for another point to push the lead to 53-47.
Ferris countered with a free throw for their first point in almost six minutes to get back to five but the Rangers weren't done. Endisch came down on the next possession and buried her sixth 3-pointer, keeping momentum on the Rangers side. Rooney added a jumper a minute later and the advantage jumped to double digits with 6:05 to go.
The Bulldogs knocked down a 3-pointer on the ensuing possession but the Rangers finished them off forcing three consecutive turnovers down the stretch. Rooney scored a layup with 2:41 left to make it 62-51 and all but seal the win. The team went 7-for-8 at the line in the final two minutes to ice it.
The Rangers established a school-record by turning the ball just three times in the game, the last of which came in dribbling out the shot clock with four seconds left in the contest.
“Our decision-making was spot on,” Kenesie said of the turnover total. “A big part of it was [our players] knowing their roles. We didn't try to do too much and our kids were really focused tonight. They were going to do whatever it took to execute our game plan and that showed.”
The Ranger defense in turn forced 24 Bulldog turnovers including 15 in the second half. Ferris State had more turnovers in the second half than field goal attempts (13).
“They were just playing their hearts out,” Kenesie said. “We had about an hour to prep but the kids were just so focused. Our rotations, and then the pressure from Kaitlyn and Jaleesa, were just so important.”