Ashland, Ohio – Wayne State recorded the first NCAA tournament win in school history as the sixth-seeded Warriors knocked off the No. 3 seed Findlay Oilers 63-58 Friday afternoon in the opening round of 2013 NCAA Division II Women’s Basketball tournament.
In its second NCAA tournament appearance in school history, WSU started strong jumping out to a 7-1 advantage in the first three minutes opening its largest lead of the half. The Warriors maintained the lead until a Tai Dotson bucket at the 13:04 mark knotted the game at 11. Wayne State didn’t lead again (15-14) until a lay-up by senior forward Phaebre Colbert with 8:12 remaining.
After Findlay took a four-point lead (19-15), Colbert tallied six consecutive points (as part of her eight straight Warrior points) to give Wayne State a 21-19 lead. Senior forward Talisha Bridges jumper increased the lead to 23-19.
Each team had five points in the final three minutes of the first half making the halftime score 28-24 in Wayne State’s favor.
Both teams struggled from the field in the first half with WSU making 36 percent (10-of-28) compared to 32 percent (8-of-25) for Findlay.
Bridges drained a triple on the Warriors opening possession of the second half pushing the lead to seven (31-24). Wayne State also led by seven (37-30) later in the second half after four straight points by Colbert.
Eight consecutive Findlay points put the Oilers ahead 38-37 but Lena Thomas answered with a triple at the 14:16 mark before UF’s Kayla Brown scored to tie the game at 40..
Findlay went almost three minutes without scoring until a Wuebker jumper with 54. 6 remaining cut the Warrior lead to 59-56 as Juanita Cochran managed the lone Wayne State bucket in the same time period. The Oilers went 0-for-6 from the field and had one turnover during the scoreless drought.
Bridges made a pair of foul shots in a one-and-one situation with 43.7 left pushing the lead to five (61-56). After another missed field goal attempt by UF, Bridges split a pair from the charity stripe in a double bonus situation. Wuebker had an offensive rebound and basket with 12.3 remaining to make it a four-point game (62-58). Cochran, who finished with her team-leading ninth double-double of the season, sealed the win by making one of two foul shots with 11.1 left.
Cochran totaled 15 points, 15 rebounds and six blocked shots, while junior guard Thomas connected on a career-best five triples in scoring 15 points, while dishing out three assists. Colbert chipped in with 15 points off the bench while garnering a game-best four steals. Bridges contributed 12 points and a game-high four assists.
Wuebker led Findlay with 14 points, including 11 in the second half, while Kayla Brown added 12 points.