Wayne State College rallied from a 63-45 deficit with 13:24 to play as the Wildcats shocked Minot State 85-79 Saturday evening in a Northern Sun Conference men’s basketball comeback victory in Minot, North Dakota at the Minot State Dome. With the win, and a Minnesota State home loss to Northern State, Wayne State takes over sole possession of first place in the NSIC South Division at 17-5 overall and 12-4 in league play while the host Beavers fall to 10-15 and 5-11 in league play.
The first half was a back and forth contest that featured 10 lead changes and five ties.
WSC held an early 14-8 lead, but the host Beavers used strong first half shooting (14-24 for 58 percent) to storm back and built a seven point lead at 35-28 before WSC closed the half strong and trailed 39-37 at intermission.
The host Beavers continued their stellar shooting in the second half and were on fire making 10 of their first 12 shots in the second half to build a commanding lead before WSC made their epic comeback.
With Minot State leading 48-45 at the 17:19 mark, the Beavers scored the next 15 points over a span of 3:55 and took their biggest lead of the game at 63-45 with 13:24 to play.
The Wildcats slowly began their comeback and got the deficit down to single digits following a Nick Ferrarini 3-pointer at the 8:44 mark to make the score 66-58.
WSC used a 16-2 run over a span of 4:39 and got within two at 68-66 following a Kendall Jacks three-point play with 6:18 to play.
Minot State pushed the lead back to six at 72-66, but the Wildcats continued their rally and knotted the score at 77-77 on another Ferrarini 3-pointer with 2:46 left.
A jumper from Jacks gave WSC their first lead in the second half at 79-77, but Minot State’s Max Cody answered to tie the score at 79-79 with 1:15 remaining.
A Ferrarini layup and free throw put WSC in front for good at 82-79 and following a missed 3-pointer from Minot State, WSC got a clutch 3-pointer by Vance Janssen from the left wing with 12 seconds left to cap the comeback and give the Wildcats an improbable 85-79 victory.
Jacks led WSC in scoring with 23 points and moved into seventh place on the all-time scoring list at WSC with 1,474 points, surpassing Larry Coney’s 1,455 points from 1958-62. Jacks was 9 for 13 from the field and 4 of 6 at the foul line.
Freshman Nick Ferrarini scored 15 of his 17 points in the second half, going 6 of 10 from the floor and 4 for 6 behind the arc. Senior point guard Vance Janssen also added 17 points on 6 of 7 shooting from the field.
For the game, WSC made 31 of 59 shots for 52.5 percent, including 9 of 17 from 3-point range. The ‘Cats were 14 of 17 at the free throw line.
Max Cody led Minot State with 23 points followed by David Akibo and Kyle Beisch with 15 apiece.
Minot State shot a sizzling 56 percent from the field on 28 of 50 shots, going 4 for 11 behind the arc and 19 for 23 at the free throw stripe.
WSC held a 28-25 edge in rebounding over Minot State thanks to eight boards from Jordan Janssen.
WSC returns home next weekend for NSIC games vs. St. Cloud State Friday at 7:30 p.m. and Minnesota Duluth Saturday in a 5:30 p.m. contest.
Minot State held the lead for just 2:36, but scored the final nine points of the game to rally in the final 1:25 for a 69-64 Northern Sun Conference women’s basketball win over Wayne State Saturday afternoon at the Minot State Dome in Minot, North Dakota. Minot State is now 10-12 and 5-11 in league play while WSC falls to 13-9 and 8-8 in NSIC games.
The only lead of the first half for Minot State was 4-2. WSC then scored the next five points for a 7-4 lead and was in front 11-10 after one quarter despite shooting just 4 of 19 (21%) in the opening 10 minutes.
WSC increased their lead in the second quarter and took their first double-digit lead of the night at 27-16 following a 3-pointer from Andrea Larson before finishing the half with a 31-21 advantage.
But Minot State came on strong in the third quarter, and used a 12-2 run to open the quarter to tie the score at 33-33. WSC regained the lead and led 40-35 on a Erin Norling trey with 4:59 to go in the quarter before finishing the third with a 48-46 lead.
The fourth quarter saw five lead changes, but Minot State had the lead at the most important time of the game.
After Minot State opened the fourth quarter with a 3-pointer to take a 49-48 lead, WSC scored five straight on a Maggie Lowe 3-pointer and Norling layup for a 53-49 lead.
The host Beavers came back to force the game’s fifth and final tie at 55-55, but WSC responded and pushed the lead to four at 61-57 and again at 64-60 following three Andrea Larson free throws with 1:35 to play.
But WSC had three turnovers, three fouls and just one shot in the final 90 seconds, resulting in Minot State scoring the game’s final nine points as the Beavers rallied for the 69-64 win.
Norling led WSC in scoring with 18 points followed by Larson with 11.
WSC shot 23 of 54 from the field for 42.6 percent, going 8 of 25 from the 3-point line and 10 for 12 at the charity stripe.
Calli Delsman paced four Minot State players in double digits with 14 points. Kari Clements added 12 with Madison Wald and Mariah Payne scoring 11 apiece.
Minot State shot 45 percent from the field on 27 of 60 that included 4 of 17 behind the arc and 11 for 14 at the line.
The host Beavers held a sizeable 39-26 edge in rebounding. Haley Vesey grabbed seven boards to lead WSC.
WSC had one more turnover than Minot State 17-16, but held a 24-11 advantage in points off turnovers.
Halley Busse, Brittany Bongartz and Lowe each had three assists for the Wildcats while Lowe and Kylie Hammer were both credited with two steals.
The Wildcats will be at home next weekend, hosting St. Cloud State Friday evening at 5:30 p.m. and Minnesota Duluth Saturday for a 3:30 p.m. contest in Rice Auditorium.