The Wayne State women's basketball team clinched a home game in the GLIAC Tournament with a 76-66 win over Northwood University at the Matthaei on Feb. 17.
After trailing the Timberwolves 10-8 halfway through the first quarter, senior guard Shannon Wilson and sophomore guard Nastassja Chambers scored the Warriors next eleven points to put WSU ahead 19-12. Junior guard Ja'Nae Williams, shot for three as time expired to give Wayne State a 26-18 lead after one.
Baskets by sophomore guard Alex Matus and junior guard/forward Paige Villemure pushed Wayne State's lead to 36-24 midway through the second. The Warriors would score the half's final five points to take a 47-33 lead into the intermission.
A triple by senior guard Sara Ruhstorfer gave Wayne State a 50-33 lead, the Warriors struggled with Northwood's zone defense for most of the quarter, shooting 25 percent in the third. The shots WSU made were enough to maintain their double-digit lead, and Wayne State took a 61-51 lead into the final quarter.
Northwood capitalized on the Warriors cold shooting in the fourth, cutting WSU's lead down to 67-63. With 3:53 left in the game, senior guard Shannon Wilson scored five straight points to push Wayne State's lead to 72-63 and seal the win for the Warriors.
Wilson said that a mix of Senior Day emotions and not repeating the team's start against Northwood in their first meeting fueled her strong start to the game where she scored 17 points in the first half.
"It was just that sense of urgency knowing that we had to come out a lot harder, and a lot stronger this time around," said Wilson.
Head Coach Carrie Lohr said getting to play a home game in the GLIAC Tournament is a big deal.
"Our band and our fans have been a great [source] of energy for us [and] they've helped create an exciting environment," Lohr said. "Playing at home is really special and the fact that our seniors get to play at home one more time is definitely a bonus."
The Warriors improved their record to 18-6 on the season and 13-5 in the GLIAC with the win.
In their next game against Michigan Tech on Feb. 22, Lohr said she hopes that the team heads into the game with confidence after beating the No.18 ranked Huskies 50-40 at Matthaei on Jan. 11.
"I think the biggest thing is going up there on their home court and really honing in on our defense, staying focused and playing with confidence," Lohr said.