ASHLAND, Ohio – Wayne State (Mich.) (22-8) advanced to the NCAA round of 16 with a 70-60 triumph against Wisconsin-Parkside (21-10) on Saturday at Ashland’s Kates Gymnasium.
It was a back-and-forth contest featuring 17 lead changes, eight in the first half and nine after intermission.
The seventh-seeded Rangers took their final lead of the game with 3:55 remaining on a 3-pointer by Sierra West. From there, the Warriors turned up the defensive pressure forcing UWP into four missed shots and two turnovers. Senior forward Talisha Bridges scored on a layup with 2:44 left to knot the game at 60.
Following another one-shot possession for Parkside, Bridges scored from down low with 1:48 remaining giving the Warriors the lead for good. UWP missed both field goal attempts on the ensuing trip down the court with senior forward Phaebre Colbert grabbing the defensive rebound. She was rewarded at the offensive end with a baseline jumper pushing the lead to four (64-60) with 26 seconds left.
After a missed triple by Wisconsin-Parkside, senior center Juanita Cochran grabbed the defensive rebound and was immediately fouled with 12.4 remaining. Cochran made both free throws in a one-and-one situation increasing the Wayne State lead to six (66-60).
Junior forward Imari Redfield stole the inbound pass and was fouled with 8.9 seconds left. She made both free throws in a double-bonus situation making it a 68-60 contest. Colbert stole the ball on Parkside’s last possession and Redfield finished the game with a layup.
Cochran finished with game-high totals of 25 points, 16 rebounds and three blocked shots. Bridges added 19 points and a team-best four assists and three steals. Redfield contributed 10 points off the bench.
The WSU defense limited UWP’s top scorer Jenna Endisch to two points. Tara Knapstein made four 3-pointers on her way to scoring a team-best 15 points for the Rangers.
UWP had 18 miscues compared to nine turnovers for Wayne State.
The Warriors had a 38-22 advantage in points in the paint after shooting 50 percent (13 of 26) from the field in the final 20 minutes.