SPEARFISH — Black Hills State University dropped an 84-74 nonconference women’s basketball decision to Wayne State, Saturday afternoon, at the Young Center in Spearfish.

“They handled adversity really well,” Black Hills State head coach Mark Nore said in describing the visiting Wildcats. “Every time we made a run, they’d make a big play, whether it was an offensive board or an extra pass.”

Erin Norling connected on a 3-point field goal as Wayne State went ahead 10-5. 

Racquel Wientjes’ 3-point field goal brought Black Hills State within 12-8. The Yellow Jackets cut the margin to 19-14 on Ashley Davis’ inside basket.

Black Hills State used a Morgan Ham 3-point field goal early in the second period to stay within 25-20. A Wientjes jump shot allowed the Yellow Jackets to cut the margin to 28-24.

The Wildcats responded with a 9-0 run. Norling’s basket pushed Wayne State’s advantage to 37-24.

Abby Switzer’s basket allowed Black Hills State to stay within nine points, at 43-34. The Wildcats led 45-34 at halftime.

Wientjes’ 3-point field goal and Ham’s inside basket early in the third quarter brought the Yellow Jackets within 45-39.

Black Hills State trailed 51-43 when it went on a 5-1 run. Katie Messler’s free throw brought the Yellow Jackets within 52-48.

Wayne State scored 13 of the next 22 points and led 65-57 after three quarters.

Alyssia Martinez’s 3-point field goal as the fourth period began brought the Yellow Jackets within 65-60. 

Wayne State’s Kylie Hammer converted a steal into a layup to begin a 10-2 run that put the Wildcats ahead 75-62. Black Hills State got no closer than eight points the rest of the way.

Wientjes tallied 21 points to pace three Yellow Jacket players in double figures. She also connected on four 3-point field goals.

Switzer followed with 14 points for Black Hills State. Ham chipped in with 13 points.

Norling’s 28 points enabled her to top Wayne State’s scoring charts. Hammer (20 points), Josey Ryan (14), and Halley Busse (13) also reached double figures for the Wildcats.

“They (Wayne State) get to the free throw line a lot, and then they rebound well,” Nore said of the Wildcats, who finished 24 of 29 from the line. “We didn’t do a great job tonight of defending that.” 

Black Hills State scoring: Racquel Wientjes 21, Abby Switzer 14, Morgan Ham 13, Katie Messler 7, Ashley Davis 7, Alyssia Martinez 7, Summer Fox 4, Ashlee Beacom 1. Totals 26 field goals, 13 of 20 from the free throw line, 74 points.

Wayne State scoring: Erin Norling 28, Kylie Hammer 20, Josey Ryan 14, Halley Busse 13, Brittany Bongartz 8, Autumn Mlinar 1. Totals 27 field goals, 24 of 29 from the free throw line, 84 points.

Field goal percentages: Black Hills State 40 (26-65), Wayne State 42 (27-64)

Three-point field goals: Black Hills State 9 (Wientjes 4, Ham 2, Switzer 2, Martinez 1), Wayne State 6 (Hammer 3, Norling 2, Ryan 1)

Rebounds: Black Hills State 37 (Messler 10), Wayne State 47 (Norling 12)

Turnovers: Black Hills State 15, Wayne State 14

Total fouls: Black Hills State 24, Wayne State 21

Black Hills State, 3-2, will begin Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference play on Tuesday when it hosts South Dakota School of Mines & Technology. Tipoff at the Young Center is set for 5:30 p.m.

“We have to be ready to go,” Nore said. “They (Hardrockers) got us here last year, so it’s something that we’ve circled on our calendar.” 

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