Nebraska Wesleyan looked poised to upset a top 10 team as they led for the first 32 minutes of the game but a major scoring drought allowed No. 6 Sioux Falls to rally back and earn a 64-47 win in GPAC women's basketball action on Wednesday night (Jan. 26) at Snyder Arena in Lincoln, Neb.
NWU led 40-33 with 12:33 to play but the Prairie Wolves would be outscored 31-7 over the rest of the game. The Prairie Wolves committed 11 turnovers and went only 2-11 from the field as they managed just two baskets in the last 12 minutes of the second half.
Nebraska Wesleyan shot only 25.0 percent in the second half going 7-28 from the floor and 1-6 at the 3-point range.
After hitting only 28.1 percent in the first half, the sixth ranked Cougars came out and went 6-10 from 3-point range and 13-28 overall in the final 20 minutes. Sioux Falls had been held to only 43 points in their previous loss at Mount Marty on Saturday, and the Prairie Wolves looked like they were going to hand USF their second straight loss.
The Cougars (18-3, 8-3 GPAC) did not allow the upset to happen as they overpowered and ran down NWU (7-11, 3-8) in the final 12 minutes.
Nebraska Wesleyan led by five points at halftime (28-23) and got up by 10 points to start the second half after a layup by Shea Rasmussen with 17:35 left.
Baileigh O'Brien scored nine points in the second half and sparked USF off the bench. She was the lone Cougar player in double figures with 12 points.
For NWU, Mallory Shanahan and Katy Golden both scored 13 points with eight rebounds to lead the Prairie Wolves. Sadie Struebing had 11 rebounds, but went only 3-17 from the floor for eight points.
Another big stat was the turnovers as NWU committed 27 total turnovers against the tough USF full court press defense.
NWU will now prepare for another ranked team as they host 20th-ranked Briar Cliff University on Saturday (Jan. 29) at 2 pm.