Wayne State (Mich.) defeats Lewis to reach second consecutive Round of 16
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- Wayne State (Mich.) (23-7) tied its school single-season win total (set by the 1980-81 squad at 23-5) by recording an 87-80 triumph against second-seeded Lewis (23-6) Sunday afternoon at Drury in the second round of the Division II Midwest Regional.
The sixth-seeded Warriors advance to the Round of 16 for the second consecutive year.
Shareta Brown led WSU with 24 points, 14 rebounds and six steals. Destiny Lavita-Stephens chipped in with 16 points, while Brittany Streetman had 13 points and five assists to no turnovers, while Kristen Long added 12 points and four assists.
Jamie Johnson led the Flyers with a game-high 32 points and seven assists, while Kristin Itschner and Jess Reinhart each recorded 14 points.
All three lead changes in the contest occurred in the first 65 seconds with the last coming on sophomore guard Streetman's second 3-pointer, which ignited a 6-0 run by WSU for a 9-4 lead.
WSU made its first six triple tries including a 3-for-3 effort from junior center Brown to take a 24-12 lead just six minutes into the game.
Earlier, the Flyers pulled within three 9-6, after a pair of free throws by Nikki Nellen, but the Warriors responded with back-to-back triples by sophomore guard Lavita-Stephens and Brown's second in the first four minutes of the match.
Wayne State extended its lead to the aforementioned 12 points (24-12), but Lewis rebounded for a 10-3 spurt to make it a five-point game at 27-22 at the mid-point of the first half. Lavita-Stephens answered with another triple off a feed from WSU's lone senior Imari Redfield (Detroit, Mich./Country Day).
The Flyers responded with an 8-4 run to cut their deficit to four (34-30) with just under 7:30 left before intermission.
Ondrea Hughes made a pair from the charity stripe and Jackie Jones added a fast break lay-up to regain the eight-point margin (38-30).
The Warriors ended the half out-scoring Lewis 9-6 for an 11-point advantage (47-36) at halftime.
Brown led all scorers at the break with 17 points, while also recording four steals. Wayne State was 8-of-10 from beyond the arc and 9-of-13 from the foul line in the first 20 minutes.
Itschner and Johnson led LU with 12 and 10 points, respectively at halftime. The Flyers shot 50 percent (17-of-34) but were 0-for-7 from long range.
WSU pushed its lead to 18 (56-38) after a triple by Streetman and a driving lay-up by Lavita-Stephens. The margin was 20 (63-43) with just under 15 minutes remaining before Lewis went on a 10-0 spurt to make it a 10-point contest.
The Flyers scored on three consecutive possessions to pull within seven (68-61) with 7:45 left, but Redfield made a pair from the foul line for a 70-61 lead. Lewis answered with a 6-2 run to cut the Warrior advantage to five (72-67) at the 5:49 mark.
Lavita-Stephens made two from the charity stripe and sophomore guard Long made a jumper extending the lead to nine (76-67).
Following a triple by Lewis' Johnson at the 2:12 mark cut the Flyer deficit to six (80-74), Wayne State responded with a 7-3 run ignited by a steal and fast break lay-up by Lavita-Stephens, a free throw by Brown and four straight foul shots by Long.
Johnson completed the scoring by making all three free throws with 16.9 seconds left.
Wayne State made 16-of-20 free throws in the second half to seal the win.