Winona State University's Newspaper since 1919

The Winonan

Winona State University's Newspaper since 1919

The Winonan

Winona State University's Newspaper since 1919

The Winonan


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Women’s basketball concludes season

Warriors see semifinals, head coach achieves milestone

Winona State women’s basketball head coach Scott Ballard got his milestone 500th win Wednesday, Feb. 22, as the Warriors defeated the University of Mary Mauraders in the opening round of the NSIC tournament. Ballard is the 29th coach in Division II history to reach the 500 win milestone.

The Warriors advanced to the quarterfinals in Sioux Falls, S.D. Saturday, Feb. 25.

Sophomore Liz Evenocheck picked up where she left off the weekend prior, knocking down a 3-pointer to get the Warriors on the board first. The Marauders then took the lead until midway through the first quarter.

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The third quarter was played tight as neither team had any separation more than four points. The lead exchanged hands once before the Marauders would hold a one-point lead going into the final quarter at 45-44.

In the fourth quarter the Warriors would outscore the Marauders 20-14 to hang on to their lead. The lead changed hands four times in the final quarter of action, but in the end the Warriors would hold on to their advantage for a 64-59 victory and advance to the quarterfinals of the NSIC tournament.

Saturday, Feb. 25, the Warriors made the trip to Sioux Falls, S.D. and defeated the Augustana University Vikings at the Sanford Health Pentagon 82-76 and the Warriors moved to the semifinals against the Northern State University Wolves.

The Vikings came out firing as they knocked down 3-pointers on four consecutive possessions to jump out to an early 12-4 lead. The Warriors struggled to find a rhythm, as they would end the first quarter looking at a 21-15 deficit.

The second quarter started out with foul calls on both teams. The Warriors kept the Vikings close, only allowing them to reach a nine-point lead. Halfway through the quarter, a couple baskets from Evenocheck would cut the Vikings’ lead to five. The Warriors only trailed by three going into halftime, 40-37.

Roelofs came out of halftime and sank back-to-back three-pointers to give the Warriors their first lead of the game at 43-40. Two consecutive Vikings’ turnovers led to five points and a 52-47 Warrior lead. Senior Emily Wirth would complete a three-point play to push the lead to eight.

The Warriors had successfully overcome what was a 14-point deficit to win 82-76 and moved on to the semifinals of the NSIC tournament.

Before the game Roelofs was named the 2016-17 NSIC Elite 18 Award winner for women’s basketball. As part of the NSIC 25th Anniversary celebration, the NSIC Elite 18 Award was instituted to recognize the true essence of the student-athlete by honoring the individual who has reached the pinnacle of competition at the NSIC Championship level in his or her sport, while also achieving the highest academic standard among his or her peers. The NSIC Elite 18 award is presented to the student-athlete with the highest cumulative grade-point average participating at each of the finals sites.

Monday, Feb. 27 the Warriors made their last stop to the semifinals on the NSIC Tournament.

The Warriors were able to muster six points in overtime as the their run in the NSIC Tournament ended with a 69-64 loss to Northern State (23-6). The Wolves’ 16-4 advantage in points in the paint and 12 offensive rebounds in the second half and overtime allowed them to escape with the victory.

Scoring started slow for both teams as the game began with back-to-back empty possessions. Roelofs would carry the Warriors through the first quarter, scoring 10 of their 16 points. The Warriors shot 50 percent from the field and from deep to open the game

The second quarter the Wolves outscored the Warriors 17-12. To close out the half, the Wolves headed to the locker room trailing by one, 28-27.

Coming out of the locker rooms, Evenocheck gave the Warriors a boost by scoring 10 straight points that included two 3-pointers. Then Tuttle would continue the scoring as she added six quick points from four free throws and a jumper. The Wolves would close out the quarter with two three-pointers of their own to again, come within a basket of the lead at 46-45.

In the final quarter, the lead would exchange hands a couple times before the Wolves grab it midway through the quarter, at 54-53. The Warriors would keep the Wolves in reach until Roelofs would knock down a three-pointer to tie things at 58-58, sending the game into overtime.

In overtime, the Warriors struggled to get a basket to fall, while the Wolves were able to take better advantage of the five extra minutes to score 11 opposed to the Warriors’ six points.

The Warriors finish the season with over 20 wins for the third straight season and seventh time during Scott Ballard’s tenure.

Game recaps contributed by Winona State University Athletics

Edited for brevity and clarity

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