Red Raiders upset No. 1 St. Thomas MoreDespite a low-scoring first half, Wagner managed to overcome St. Thomas More 42-36 Saturday night at the 29th annual girls’ basketball Hanson Classic.
By: Claire Meador, The Daily Republic
Despite a low-scoring first half, Wagner managed to overcome St. Thomas More 42-36 Saturday night at the 29th annual girls’ basketball Hanson Classic.
Wagner held St. Thomas More to seven points in the first quarter, and the Cavaliers held the Red Raiders to only four points in the second quarter.
Defense was the name of the game in the first half, and both teams couldn’t connect with the basket. The Red Raiders only made six of their 23 shots during the first half, while the Cavaliers made seven of their 23 shots. St. Thomas More led going into halftime 16-15.
Wagner head coach Mike Koupal said his team didn’t play as aggressively in the first half as they should have.
“I think during the first half, we were playing a little timid, we were just playing scared,” Koupal said.
“We went in the locker and said ‘Can you guys play with these guys?’ and the kids said yes. We just had to start hustling and getting after the ball. We did a much better job of that during the second half.”
Wagner held St. Thomas More to eight points in the third quarter and managed to pull away with a seven-point lead.
Devon Brecke led the Red Raiders with 16 points. Alexa Cimpl had 10 points. Wagner shot 10-of-33 from the field and went 19-of-23 from the free-throw line.
Both teams were scoreless in the fourth quarter until St. Thomas More’s Alexys Swedlund knocked down a 3-pointer at the 5-minute mark. After that, St. Thomas More went on a 4-0 run and make it 31-30 with 3 minutes left in the game.
Wagner answered back with two points from a pair of free-throws from Gina Soukup. After that, the Cavaliers were plagued by missed layups and missed free throws and couldn’t seem to connect with the basket for the rest of the game.
St. Thomas More head coach Brandon Kandolin said Wagner was just able to execute more efficiently than the Cavaliers did on Saturday night.
“(Wagner’s) a great team,” Kandolin said.
“Both teams get after it, and both teams are very defensive-minded and they work hard and they were just able to execute better than us.”
Kandolin said toward the end of the game, Wagner forced the Cavaliers to make some bad decisions.
“It was a great job on (Wagner’s) part,” Kandolin said.
“The great thing about this game is it was a chance in the middle of the season to see where we’re at and make some adjustments and continue to try and get better.”
Caitlin Duffy led the Cavaliers with 13 points. Swedlund had eight points.
WAGNER 42, ST. THOMAS MORE 36
Cimpl 2-4 4-4 10, Medicine Horn 0-4 0-1 0, Doom 1-6 4-4 6, Weber 1-5 0-0 2, Brecke 4-9 8-10 16, Soukup 0-0 2-2 2, Kuca 2-5 1-2 6. Totals 10-33 19-23 42.
ST. THOMAS MORE (10-1)
Swedlund 3-7 0-0 8, Kirsch 3-9 0-0 6, Merriam 0-5 3-4 3, Duffy M 2-5 5-5 4, Duffy C 5-13 2-2 13, Arity 0-2 0-0 . Totals 13-41 7-11 36.
Halftime—St. Thomas More 16-15. 3-Point Goals—St. Thomas More 2-8 (Swedlund 1-2, Duffy 1-2), Wagner 2-9 (Cimpl 1-2, Kuca 1-2). Fouled Out—None.