BISMARCK, N.D. — Wayne State College stunned host University of Mary (N.D.), 54-52, in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference women’s basketball tournament Wednesday.
The Wildcats (15-14) rallied from a 15-point deficit to silence the crowd on Halley Busse’s 35-foot 3-pointer as time expired. Perry graduate Maggie Lowe flipped the ball inbounds to Busse with 10 seconds to play. Busse dribbled for a few seconds, and when the Marauders (17-9) opted not to extend the defense hoisted a shot several steps behind the arc. The ball found the bottom of the net with 1.8 seconds to play, sealing the win.
Wayne State had finished sixth in the eight-team NSIC South, with Mary third in the eight-team North Division. Mary had defeated Wayne State (Neb.), 65-60, Feb. 1.
The Wildcats led for just over two minutes in the game, with the Marauders leading for over 33 minutes. The guests cut their halftime deficit to 26-24 when Lowe drove into the lane and pulled up for a 10-foot jumper just before the horn.
After facing a 15-point hole, the visitors rallied to snatch a 50-48 lead with two minutes to play. Consecutive baskets from the hosts put Mary in front, 52-50, with 30 seconds left.
Erin Norling hit the first of two foul shots with 15 seconds left, then forced a Marauder turnover with 10 ticks remaining, setting up the final dramatics.
Brittany Bongartz led Wayne State with 19 points, with Norling adding 17. Busse finished with 10 points, with Lowe scoring four while adding an assist and a steal.
The win moved Wayne State into the NCIS quarterfinals Saturday at 2:30 p.m. at the Pentagon in Sioux Falls. Though a neutral site, local team Sioux Falls (22-7) will be favored, as the Cougars were second in the South and own wins of 81-59 Jan. 4 and of 77-72 Saturday over then-host Wayne State.