WSU falls short in regular season opener, 74-68

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Sam Thiel/Winonan

 

Five different Warriors scored in double-digits, but the Winona State University women’s basketball team dropped its regular season opener to a hot-handed Saint Mary’s University team 74-68 Saturday night in Winona.

Senior guard Becca Friestleben scored a team-high of 18 points off the bench for the Warriors, knocking down four shots from downtown.

Abby Busch chipped in 15 points while Michelle Tobin cashed in her first double-double of the season with 10 points and 13 rebounds.

Katie Wolff and Kelsey Andrist contributed 13 and 10 points for Winona State, respectively.

Saint Mary’s shot the basketball very well, shooting 54 percent from the field. Cardinal center Jamie Stefely scored 22 points to lead all scorers.

“Nothing worked well at either end and as a result we lost. We had too many fundamental breakdowns with our defense and we didn’t execute consistently on offense. Therefore, we didn’t make any runs in either half,” said coach Scott Ballard.

“We are having to make a lot of adjustments with five players out with injuries and it will take some time. We hope to get it worked out before conference play at the beginning of December.”

Winona State had the lead throughout most of the first half, but Saint Mary’s ended the first half on a 7-3 run to take a 39-35 advantage at halftime.

The Cardinals increased their lead to as large as 13 in the second half. The Warriors would then start a late comeback, coming to within four with 24 seconds to play.

WSU recorded assists on 13 of its 22 field goals, with Andrist and Tessa Wells each dishing out five for the Warriors. Andrist also pick-pocketed the Cardinals three times as the Warriors forced 11 SMU turnovers.

Winona State University will return to the hardwood on Nov. 13 when it hosts University of Wisconsin-Stout at 7 pm.

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