Women’s basketball battles in exhibition game

Allison Mueller

Victoria Larson/Winonan

After sweeping the Tip-Off Classic last week, the Winona State University women’s basketball team continued its road trip, this time facing Division I Nebraska in an exhibition matchup Sunday afternoon, losing 96-66 in Lincoln.

The Warriors were excited for this challenge and level of competition this early in the season. Junior center Kayla Timmerman understood the task going into play on Sunday.

“It’s going to be a great challenge for all of us, at every position. We have to believe and play together,” Timmerman said.

The Warriors were without leading scorer Alexis Foley and senior guard Emily Passint started in her place.

The Warriors found their backs against the wall early, falling into a 20-point deficit. Winona State did not get on the board until a jumper by Timmerman with 6:17 to go in the first quarter. They started 1-for-10 from the field and were outrebounded by 13, and the Huskers led 28-9 at the end of the first quarter.

After Nebraska increased its advantage to 32-9, the Warriors used a run to cut the deficit with four points from Tara Roelofs, consecutive baskets by Timmerman and a triple from Connor Nagle to pull to within 14 halfway through the second quarter.

Nagle connected on another 3-pointer and Timmerman added another pair of baskets to cut the deficit to 11, 41-30, before the Huskers ended the half with a 16-point lead 53-37.

Roelofs finished the quarter with eight points while Timmerman added 11. Nagle had six of her eight points on two 3-pointers. The Warriors outscored the Huskers 28-25 in the quarter.

In the third quarter, Timmerman hit a 3-pointer to cut the lead to 13, 63-50, with 2:40 left. Jenny Tuttle also connected on a pair of free throws to bring the score to within 11 at the end of the quarter. As a team, the Warriors held the Huskers to 13 points as Roelofs scored eight of the Warriors’ 18 points in the quarter.

Another Tara Roelofs jumper cut the lead to 11 with 7:53 to go in the game but Nebraska went on an 11-0 run to extend their lead to 22 before defeating the Warriors in a final score of 96-66.

Winona State shot 38.2 percent while Nebraska shot 50.7 percent from the floor. The Warriors connected on seven of their 22 attempts from behind the arc while the Huskers made three of their 14 tries.

Roelofs finished with a team-high 23 points while connecting on 10 of her 18 shots and led the team in rebounds with five. Timmerman chipped in 21 points in 24 minutes of play, shooting 9-of-15 from the floor and corralled four rebounds.

Nagle shot 3-of-9 from the field including a pair of triples to score eight points while Emily Wirth had seven points.

“We were there to compete and get better. We know what we can be capable of and we wanted to show up and play the best basketball we have yet this season,” Nagle said. “I’m proud of the way we came out and battled.”

Winona State (3-0) returns to regular season play at home in McCown Gymnasium Saturday when they host St. Mary’s University at 7 p.m.