Lady Cardinals soar to 15-4

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The Saginaw Valley women’s basketball team topped Lake Superior State University and Northwood University this past weekend.

The team has won nine of their last 11 games, giving them a 15-4 overall record. The two GLIAC wins improve their conference record to 11-2 and the team remains in first place in the North division.

Thursday, SVSU hosted Lake Superior State, beating the Lakers 72-51 to remain undefeated at home this season with a record of 9-0.

The Lady Cardinals led at halftime 30-25. The team came out strong in the third quarter. As a unit, the team shot 58 percent from the field and made 11 of its 13 free-throw attempts to score 26 points in the quarter.

A strong defensive effort in the fourth quarter held Lake Superior State Lakers to seven points, making three of their 14 shot attempts.

For the game, the team shot a collective 41 percent from the field and 22-25 from the free-throw line. The Cardinals outrebounded the Lakers 41-28.

Senior forward Emily Wendling notched her first 30-point game of the season. She shot 11-18 from the field and sunk eight of her 10 attempts from the charity stripe. Wendling also added seven rebounds in her 26 minutes.

Guard Anna Hall returned to action for the first time in four games. The sophomore grabbed a game-high and career-high nine boards. She also had eight points on 2-4 shooting to go along with three steals and two assists.

Abby Duffy led the bench unit, which outscored the Lakers 23-12. The sophomore forward scored 15 points on 5-9 shooting. Duffy was also perfect from the line, making all four of her attempts.

Senior forward Grace Whalen added six points and three rebounds off the bench in 14 minutes.

After the game, Emily Wendling discussed the team’s hot streak and what it takes to keep the momentum.

“I think one of the key factors is that we are really working well together and building trust in each other,” Wendling said. “Everyone works their hardest and is willing to do anything for the good of the team. We are really enjoying playing with one another and having fun. We just need to continue to focus on playing our game and doing the things that we do best.”

Head coach Jamie Pewinski told SVSU Athletics after the game that the team played a great game and came alive in the second half.

“It was just a great battle,” Pewinski said. “We played a great second half after a slow start in the first half. We found our rhythm a little bit. We tried to fix our spacing this week in practice, and it started to take effect in the second half.”

The team traveled to Northwood University on Jan. 28. The Cardinals beat their rival Timberwolves 72-54.

The Lady Cardinals had a seven-point lead at the end of the first half and came out firing to begin the second. The team scored 27 points in the third quarter, including a 15-0 run, to put them up by 21 points heading into the fourth quarter.

Katelyn Carriere led the charge in the fourth quarter, scoring 10 of the team’s 15 points. The team widened the lead to 22 points and ultimately won the game by 18.

As a unit, the team shot 49 percent from the field in the game and went 20-22 from the free-throw line.

Carriere scored a game-high 21 points. The senior guard from London, Ontario, made nine of her 14 shot attempts. She shot 2-2 from the line and 1-3 from beyond the arc.

Wendling had her fourth double-double in six games with 12 points and 11 rebounds. She shot 5-11 from the field. Her two steals and one block helped the Cards on the defensive side of things.

Duffy led the bench in scoring with eight points on 4-5 shooting in 21 minutes.

Hall scored five points on 5-6 shooting from the free-throw line. She also added eight rebounds and three assists.

Forward Halee Nieman scored nine of her 13 points from the charity stripe, going a perfect 9-9. She shot 2-7 from the field. The sophomore also grabbed a season-high eight rebounds and blocked a career-high two shots.

Sophomore guard Hannah Settingsgaard rounded out the starting five with seven of her own points on 2-3 shooting, including 1-2 from beyond the arc.

“We did a good job chasing them off the three-point line and making them take tough shots,” Pewinski said. “We were able to rebound the ball and get out in transition.”

The basketball team has three GLIAC games next week.

The Lady Cardinals host Wayne State University today, before traveling to take on the Ferris State Bulldogs on Thursday, Feb. 2, at 6 p.m.

The team then returns to the O’Neill Arena on Saturday, Feb. 4, for a 4 p.m. tip-off.