Cold weather cannot cool off Cardinals’ hot start

The SVSU women’s basketball team traveled to compete in the North Star Invitational, hosted by Alaska Fairbanks University. The Cardinals came away with the invitational title, winning each of their three games against Alaska Fairbanks University, Colorado Christian University and Augustana College (S.D.), respectively.

The victories bring the team’s record to 4-1 on the year.

Head coach Jamie Pewinski said she was proud of her team for playing the way it did after a long road trip.

“I thought we played pretty well,” she said. “It’s not always easy to travel like we did and be able to pull off a win against the home team.

“Fortunately, we did enough things well to be able to get the victory.”

On Saturday, the lady Cardinals trailed at halftime, but stormed back onto the court to start the second half, defeating Augustana College, 76-66. Sophomore Emily Wendling was integral to the team’s second half effort, scoring 11 points in the final 20 minutes.

Pewinski noted that Wendling, who missed all of last year with an injury, has played well to start the season.

“It was tough for her to sit out last year, but I think [Wendling] learned a lot on the sidelines by watching and has been able to take that into this season,” Pewinski said. “Her presence definitely changes the way we play and it changes the way people play against us.

“The other team has to account for her on every possession no matter where she is on the floor and we have to find ways to get her the ball.”

The team’s second game against Colorado Christian University was a 74-47 route in favor of the Cardinals.

Despite leading by just two points at halftime, SVSU once again played well in the second half of the game, outscoring the Cougars, 43-18.

Junior guard Danielle Carriere led the team in both points (17) and rebounds (7).

The first game of the trip was against host Alaska Fairbanks University. The Cards would come away with the victory, 75-66.

SVSU dominated the game across the board, only trailing early in the contest. Wendling scored 29 points in the victory, also pulling down 15 rebounds.

Coming off the sweep north of the border, Pewinski said she learned a lot about the team.

“We have some young players that are figuring out what college basketball is going to be like and they’ve done a good job up to this point,” she said. “I think we’ve realized that we can be a pretty good defensive team and we have a lot of strengths and many options on the offensive end.”

Pewinski added she was proud of how the team handled the trip.

“There’s no doubt the travel and time change has taken some adjusting,” she said.

Ahead for the lady Cardinals is the start of GLIAC (Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference) play. SVSU will travel to Columbus, Ohio, to play the Ohio Dominican Panthers. Tip off will be at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 4.

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