Northwestern and Morningside women win in GPAC semifinals - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

N'western & M'side women win GPAC semifinals; Wayne State women upset at NSIC tourney

Northwestern will host Morningside in the GPAC tournament final on Tuesday. Northwestern will host Morningside in the GPAC tournament final on Tuesday.

The Northwestern and Morningside women will meet in the GPAC Championship after each won semifinal matchups.

The Red Raiders defeated Concordia in Orange City, Iowa on Saturday, 101-80, to earn their spot in the final.

Senior Alli Engebretson paced Northwestern with 26 points, and Samantha Kleinsasser added 23 for the Red Raiders, who move to 26-4 on the season.

The Mustangs will meet Northwestern in the final after defeating Hastings on Saturday, 65-55.

Freshman Lexi Ackerman finished with 17 points to lead Morningside, who climb to 27-5.

Ashlynn Muhl added 14 points and nine rebounds.

The final will be a rematch of last year's tournament final, a game that Morningside won 79-73.

The GPAC final takes place Tuesday in Orange City.


Sioux Falls, SD -

Wayne State College shot just 33.3 percent from the field (24 of 72) as the Wildcats were upset by the University of Sioux Falls 75-69 in overtime Saturday evening in the NSIC Sanford Health Women's Basketball Tournament Quarterfinals at the Pentagon in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.  WSC is now 27-4 on the season while the Cougars improve to 14-14 on the year.

The Wildcats struggled shooting the ball early, making just 4 of 13 to start the game.  Despite the shooting struggles, WSC still held a 9-7 lead with 14:15 to play in the first half.

WSC built a five point lead at 14-9 following a Millie Niggeling layup at the 13:25 mark.  But Sioux Falls went on a 9-3 run over the next 1:39 and took an 18-17 lead on Amber Paden's layup with 11:46 to play.

The Wildcats then the next eight points on Niggeling jumper and 3-pointers by Addy Roller and Ashton Yossi to take a 25-18 lead with 10:12 to play in the first half and kept the lead for the remainder of the first half.

Sioux Falls pulled within two at 28-26 with 3:27 to go before halftime, but the Wildcats closed the half with a Jaylan Spencer 3-point play and a layup by Roller with four seconds left before intermission to take a 33-26 lead at the break.

Both teams shot the ball well to start the second half, but USF inched closer to the Wildcats by forcing WSC turnovers.  The Cougars used an 11-5 run to get within one at 41-40 on a Amber Paden three-point play with 15:15 to go in the game.

The Wildcats then scored eight of the next 10 points and used back-to-back baskets from Niggeling to take a 49-42 lead with 12:42 left.  But WSC went scoreless for the next 5:29 and leading scorer Jordan Spencer picked up her fourth foul of the game on a rebounding foul with 11:27 to play.  

USF then scored the next nine points to take a 51-49 lead with 9:35 to play before sophomore guard Addy Roller snapped the scoreless drought with a pair of free throws at the 7:13 mark to knot the score at 51 all.  Jaylan Spencer then gave WSC the lead back at 53-51 with two more free throws and she then followed with an offensive putback that gave WSC a 55-51 lead with 5:58 remaining, ending a drought of 6:44 without a basket.

Jaylan Spencer added a three-point play and a free throw, scoring eight straight points for the Wildcats, to push the lead to eight at 59-51 as Wayne State held Sioux Falls scoreless for a span of 5:33.

But the Cougars ended the drought on a Sam Knecht basket with 4:02 to play and scored seven straight points to get within one at 59-58 on a Laura Johnson 3-pointer with 2:10 left.

Jordan Spencer made one of two free throws with 1:50 to play giving WSC a 60-58 lead.  Sioux Falls cut the lead back to one at 60-59 when Taylor Varhso made one of two charity tosses with 21.7 to go.  Wayne State's Ellen Hansen was fouled on the inbounds pass and calmly sank two free throws for a 62-59 Wildcat lead with 20.3 left.

Sioux Falls set up for the final shot and Bailey Bouman connected on a 3-pointer from the right wing that bounced on the rim several times before falling to force overtime at 62-62.

After USF opened the overtime with a 3-pointer, WSC scored the next four points on two Jordan Spencer free throws and a Jaylan Spencer basket to give the 'Cats their lone lead in the extra session at 66-65.  USF then used a Bouman trey and a basket by Laura Johnson for a 70-66 lead.  WSC did get within one at 70-69 on a Jordan Spencer fast break layup with 41.8 to play.  But on the next possession Sioux Falls got a 3-pointer from Jaicee Ulmer in the left corner for a 73-69 lead with 16.7 seconds to play.  The Cougars then got two insurance free throws from Johnson with 3.6 left to make the final 75-69.

Jordan Spencer led WSC in scoring with 17 points followed by Millie Niggeling with 15, Jaylan Spencer 14 and Ashton Yossi 10.  The Wildcats shot just 33.3 percent from the field on 24 of 72, going just 4 of 18 from the 3-point line and 17 of 27 (63%) from the free throw line.

Taylor Varsho led Sioux Falls in scoring with 20 points while Laura Johnson had a double-double with 19 points and 14 rebounds.  Amber Paden also reached double digits with 11.

The Cougars made 28 of 65 shots for 43.1 percent, making 9 of 23 from behind the arc and 10 for 13 at the foul line.

Sioux Falls won the rebounding battle over WSC 46-39 as Johnson grabbed 14 boards for the Cougars while Wayne State's top rebounder was Ellen Hansen with nine followed by Niggeling with seven.

Sioux Falls had 23 turnovers in the game to just 12 by the Wildcats.  Ellen Hansen had six assists with Niggeling finishing with five.

Wayne State, ranked fourth in the Central Region, now awaits word on an at-large bid for the NCAA Division II National Tournament with the selection show on Sunday, March 9th at 9 p.m.

Courtesy: Wayne State Media Relations

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