ABERDEEN, S.D. - Northern State survived a physical back-and-forth battle with the University of Sioux Falls on Wednesday to advance to the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference/Sanford Health Tournament Quarterfinals. The Wolves will play host to another in-state rival in Augustana College on Saturday. Tip is set for 4 p.m. in Wachs Arena.
NSU, hosting its first conference tournament game since 2008, improved to 20-9 with the win, giving the Wolves their first 20-win season under head coach Paul Sather. USF ends its season at 12-15 on the year.
Northern State was led by senior Collin Pryor with 21 points and another 18 from senior Geoffrey Firmin. The duo combined to go 16-for-19 from the free throw line in what proved to be a physical battle. Both teams were whistled for a combined 43 fouls, including two technical fouls in the first half.
Despite shooting just 59.4 percent from the line, it was free throws that carried the day for the Wolves, as both teams made 21 shots from the floor. USF hit four treys to NSU's two, but the Wolves were 19-for-32 from the line, while the Cougars had just 15 opportunities, making 14.
USF's Robert Goffney was the leader of the pack for the Cougars with a game-high 23 points. Goffney was 11-for-12 from the line. Senior David Maxwell came off the bench for 14 points, including two of USF's four treys on the night.
The Cougars held what was once a nine point lead late in the second half, but four straight free throws by Pryor and Firmin after a personal foul on the Cougars and a technical foul on USF head coach Chris Johnson cut it to five. NSU had the lead down to three by halftime and came out of the break with an 8-0 run to take a 38-35 lead.
Pryor slammed home a dunk followed by a spinner in the lane from senior Dustin Tetzlaff. USF responded with a 6-0 run of their own and the back-and-forth volley continued. The Wolves took the lead for good at the 8:04 mark during an 11-0 NSU run. The Cougars would cut it two one on three occasions, but NSU responded to every comeback and escaped with the win.
The Wolves now turn their attention to Saturday's game against Augustana. Winners of 10 of their last 13, the Vikings are ranked 25th in the nation in the latest NABC poll and third in the latest NCAA Central Region poll. Augustana claimed a 72-62 win over Northern State in the only meeting between the two teams during the regular season back on Feb. 9.
Aberdeen, S.D. - For the first time since 2008, the Northern State University Women's Basketball team defeats Wayne State College with a score of 69-59. The Wolves move on to the second round of the NSIC Conference Tournament, while bringing the Wildcats season to an end.
The Wolves, as they advance, improve to 16-11 on the season and 12-11 in the conference, as the Wildcats end their season 17-10 overall and 13-10 in league play.
Scoring a game high of 22 points, Sophomore Sadie Stotesbery recorded a career record on the night, topping her last total of 16 points. Sophomore Rachel Krogman would also see double digit points scoring 20 and connecting for yet again another double-double with ten total rebounds. The sophomores were the story of the night as Megan Mutchler added 13 to the team total, while recording a double-double with a game high 12 rebounds.
NSU out-rebounded Wayne State a whopping 44-26 scoring a total of eight second chance points on 16 offensive rebounds. A stellar performance all around saw 24 total points off the bench and 17 points off turnovers as a team. The Wolves came to play shooting 48.1 percent from the field and 81.0 percent from the free-throw line. Even more impressive was the Wolves 69 points with no three point shots made.
In a physical battle between the two squads, Jordan Spencer scored the team high 16 points for the Wildcats, with Addy Roller close behind at 15.
Tonight's win marks Seniors Yvonne Freese and Sarah Hintz last games from Wachs Arena on the Northern State University Campus.
Northern will be back in action for the second round of the tournament facing off against Concordia-St. Paul on the road with the game time to be determined.