WAYNE, Neb. — Concordia-St. Paul (6-4, 4-2 NSIC) used a lengthy 26-9 second half run to snap No. 19th Wayne State’s (7-3, 3-3) 52-game home winning streak with a 56-46 win at Rice Auditorium on Friday.
Wayne State’s last home loss was the final game of the 2008-09 season to Southwest Minnesota State (62-67) on February 25, 2009. The Wildcats played three consecutive perfect home seasons and were 6-0 at Rice prior to Friday’s game.
Concordia improved to 14-15 against Wayne State and 4-9 at Rice Auditorium. Concordia’s last win at Wayne State was January 18, 2008 (78-77).
Sophomore Anika Whiting provided the punch by leading the league in scoring. Junior guards Carissa Wolyniec and Rachel Hansen provided threats on the perimeter and on the drive for the Golden Bears.
The Wildcats had eyes to shut them down, as Wolyniec and Hansen were bottled up to a combined 1-of-12 shooting night for four total points (2 each).
But they couldn’t contain Whiting as she shot 6-of-8 from the floor and 6-of-6 at the stripe and produced her second double-double with 18 points and 11 rebounds. The eight shots attempted were a season-low, but she’s managed to top 15 points in every game this season. She was shooting 58.3 percent from the floor and 81.5 percent at the stripe on the year.
While Whiting was once again a key focus of the game, the Golden Bears were propelled by breakout performances from two freshmen starters, guard Jasmine Haynes and forward Kionda Nicks. Each scored career highs of 13 points and Nicks added seven rebounds and a team-high five assists and three steals.
Off the bench, another newcomer stepped up with key minutes as sophomore forward Amanda Barton scored eight points in 10 minutes on 4-of-6 shooting and also collected six rebounds.
Although Wayne State’s Jordan Spencer scored 16 points on the night, the Golden Bears challenged her. She shot just 8-of-18 and only reached the stripe once (0-1).
Concordia started Friday’s game strong with an 8-2 early lead after scoring eight consecutive points. A 3-pointer by Haynes provided Concordia 15-8 lead with 13:21 to play in the half.
Wayne State defended its homecourt from there, opening up a 13-2 run to take a 20-17 lead with 8:41 to play until the break. The Wildcats led until the break, scoring just before the buzzer to extend themselves to a five-point margin (33-28).
The Wildcat momentum was short-lived as Concordia opened the second half with a 6-0 run to reclaim the lead – just the third lead change of the night. Concordia forced three early turnovers by the Wildcats, who committed 18 during the game.
Although Wayne State reclaimed the lead momentarily at 37-34 with 17:01 to play, it did not last as Haynes dropped in a 3-pointer to tie the score and added a layup a few possessions later to take the lead back.
Concordia kept the lead for the duration as the defense clamped down. Concordia held Wayne State to 6-of-24 second half shooting and WSC had just nine points until the 3:39 mark during the Golden Bears’ 26-9 run.
The strong defensive play allowed Concordia to open up its largest lead at 12 following a Whiting layup.
From there, Concordia was successful in managing the clock down the stretch by extending possessions with offensive rebounding and strong ball movement.
Wayne State attempted just four shots in the final three minutes of game play.