The Wolves, who got off to a 5-1 start to the season and were riding a four-game win streak heading into the weekend, slipped to 5-2 overall and 2-1 on the young NSIC season. WSC, which had a similar 5-1 mark heading into the night, moved to 6-1 and a perfect 3-0 in conference play.
The Wolves kept pace in the opening minutes of the contest before hitting a four-minute cold stretch in which they scored just two points. In that time, WSC stretched an 11-10 edge into a 24-12 advantage. NSU also went the final 2:46 of the half without a point, allowing the Wildcats to push their lead to 15 at 38-23.
The second half started in much the same fashion. Sparked by a conventional three-point play by Mara Hjelle followed by back-to-back treys from Ali Schwartzwald and Alyssa Fischbach, the Wildcats used a 9-2 run to stretch their lead to 22 before the Wolves could turn the tables.
Down by 20 with twelve and a half minutes to go, the Wolves mounted a furious comeback effort over the next six minutes to cut the deficit to just seven at 56-49. Senior forward Jodi Reinschmidt scored eight of her 12 points on the night in that stretch.
But it was too little too late for the Wolves, who again ran into a scoring drought, converting on just one free throw in the final 6:21 of the game.
Junior forward Mikayla Barondeau led the Wolves with 16 points to go along with Reinschmidt’s dozen. Both players snagged seven rebounds. As a team, the Wolves were just 3-for-14 (21.4 percent) from long range and 34.6 percent overall.
Fischbach led three players in double figures for the Wildcats with a career high 19 points and 12 points. Ashley Arlen, the preseason conference player of the year, added an even dozen on the scoreboard, while Schwartzwald chipped in 10.
The road doesn’t get any easier for the Wolves tomorrow night, as they face off against nationally ranked Augustana College. The Vikings are tied for 19th in the latest Top 25 poll. Tip-off is slated for 4:05 in the Elmen Center. Midcontinent Communications will carry all the action live on Midco SportsNet.