Women’s basketball breaks four-game losing streak

Lucy LaValley, Sports Reporter

Winona State University’s women’s basketball team’s four-game losing streak came to an end Friday, Jan. 29 against Wayne State College.

With a final score of 75-70, the Warriors earned their first win of the season.

The history of the Warriors against the Wayne State Wildcats, going back to their first match in 2011, has always been neck and neck.

The longest winning streak between the two teams was between 2015-2017 when Winona State won four consecutive games against Wayne State.

Prior to this past Friday’s match, the two teams were tied with eight wins and eight losses each.

Due to COVID-19 and having to quarantine before heading off to Wayne, Nebraska this past Thursday for the weekend’s games, the Warriors were only allowed to practice for two hours right before leaving.

Despite their lack of practice, the Warriors were able to lead the Wildcats throughout most of the game.

Wayne State took the lead at tip-off and scored a three-point shot 12 seconds into the game, but the Warriors fought hard to gain control by shooting a three-pointer with eight minutes left in the first half.

With two minutes left in the half, fourth-year Allie Pickrain scored a three-pointer, giving the Warriors the lead for the first time that game.

The teams ended the first quarter tied 22-22, but the Warriors were soon in the lead at 9:24 in the second quarter after landing a three-point shot.

The Wildcats soon got the lead back but after some back-and-forth action, the Warriors bounced back into the lead at 1:51 in the second quarter.

The Warriors remained in the lead for the remainder of the face-off.

Despite being in the lead nearly the entire game, Coach Scott Ballard showed strong emotion towards the referees throughout the match, causing the announcers to comment a few times.

“Coach Ballard was not happy with that call,” one announcer said. “Scott Ballard not happy with the officials again.”

It was an edge-of-your-seat type of game; the score was always close.

“They are just turning it over left and right,” one announcer said.

Ending the game, the Warriors had 16 points from both fourth-year player Emma Fee and fourth-year player Taylor Hustad.

Third-year Sydney Lodermeier scored 15 points and first-year Mattie Schimenz scored 10 points.

Winona State also played against Wayne State the following day on Saturday, Jan. 30 and lost, once again leaving the history of Winona State versus Wayne State tied, this time around at 9-9.

The ending score for the Saturday game in Wayne, Nebraska was 68-72.

The Winona State Warriors will be back this coming weekend on their home court, facing off against Minnesota State University-Mankato.

The Warriors will take on the Mavericks Friday, Feb. 5 at 6:30 p.m. and Saturday, Feb. 6 at 2 p.m.

Winona State has not won against Mankato since 2018, but the Warriors hope to break that losing streak this weekend.