Wayne State held off hot shooting Upper Iowa, edging the Peacocks 85-81 Saturday evening in a Northern Sun Conference men’s basketball matchup played at Rice Auditorium in Wayne. The host Wildcats improve to 13-3 and 8-2 in the NSIC while UIU slips to 6-10 and 3-7 in league games.
The game featured 10 ties and nine lead changes with neither team holding a lead of more than eight points all game.
Upper Iowa took an early 10-5 lead, but WSC rallied with a 11-2 run and built a 16-12 lead on a Jordan Janssen jumper at the 13:19 mark.
The final lead of the first half for Upper Iowa came at 28-25 with 5:50 to play in the half.
With the score tied at 30-30, WSC closed the half on a Trevin Joseph 3-pointer taking a 40-34 lead at halftime.
Early in the second half, WSC used back-to-back baskets from Jordan Janssen to take their biggest lead of the game at 53-45 with 15:02 to play.
WSC was still leading 62-55 when the Peacocks scored nine straight points for a 64-62 lead with 8:38 to play.
Later in the half, the ‘Cats pushed the lead back to seven at 81-74 on a pair of Jordan Janssen free throws with 3:53 left.
UIU forced the 10th and final tie of the game at 81-81 with 2:10 to play.
Both teams missed their final four shots from the floor to end the game, but WSC got free throws from Joseph at the 1:22 mark and again with 4.6 seconds to play to finish with the 85-81 win.
Joseph led Wayne State in scoring with 28 points with Kendall Jacks, Vance Janssen and Jordan Janssen each adding 16. With his 16 points, Jacks moved into ninth place on the all-time scoring list at WSC with 1,377 points.
WSC finished the game making 30 of 64 shots for 46.9 percent. The “Cats were 11 for 20 behind the arc and a perfect 14 of 14 at the free throw line.
Upper Iowa had the game’s top scorer in Munachiso Okonkwo, who scored 31 points on 14 of 19 shooting from the field. Jareese Williams added 16 points with Kyle Haber scoring 13.
The Peacocks shot 52.5 percent from the field making 31 of 59 shots. UIU was 9 for 24 from the 3-point line and 10 for 14 at the charity stripe.
WSC won the rebounding battle 36-29 thanks to six boards each from Nick Ferrarini and Jordan Janssen.
Vance Janssen handed out six assists while Jordan Janssen had three steals.
The Wildcats are on the road next weekend, playing at MSU Moorhead Friday evening at 7:30 p.m. and Northern Saturday at 6 p.m.
Wayne State cruised to a comfortable win Saturday evening, defeating Upper Iowa 99-74 in Rice Auditorium. The win gives the Wildcats their third in a row, moving them to 11-5 on the season with a 6-4 conference mark. Upper Iowa fell to 3-15 and 0-10 in the NSIC with the loss.
The Wildcats jumped out to a 16-8 lead in the first quarter, increasing their lead to 10 after the first quarter with a 25-15 advantage. Sophomore Erin Norling paced the Wildcats with seven points in the first 10 minutes, while sophomore guard Halley Busse finished the opening quarter with three of her four assists.
Wayne State opened the second quarter on a 12-3 run to extend the lead to 37-18. The Wildcats used blistering defense to create seven turnovers from the Peacocks, translating to a 12-1 advantage in points-off-turnovers for Wayne State. Another 25-15 quarter in favor for Wayne State put the Wildcats in a comfortable 50-30 advantage going into the break.
Kylie Hammer joined in on the high-scoring affair in the third, scoring eight straight points for the Wildcats, including back-to-back treys, to give Wayne State a 61-39 edge. Wayne State put up 27 points in the third, tied for their third-best performance in a quarter on a season and providing a 77-55 lead with ten minutes to play.
Wayne State closed out the fourth one point shy of what would have been their first 100+ point performance since a 112-48 drubbing of York College on November 19, 2015. The 99-74 win gave the Wildcats their highest scoring win of the season while shooting 33-70 (47.1%) from the field, their best shooting performance of the year as well. The Wildcats shared the ball well, providing 26 assists on 33 buckets.
Busse led a quintet of Wildcats in double-figures, ending the night on 18 points and four assists. Norling (five assists) and Hammer (four assists) ended with 17 points apiece, while Haley Vesey ended the night on 14 points. Bongartz joined with 11 points of her own, her 12th straight game scoring in double-digits.
Savannah Domeyer led the Peacocks on the night with 20 points on 9-14 shooting. Upper Iowa shot 9-16 from deep, good for 56.3% and assisted on 22 of 26 made baskets.
WSC is on the road next weekend, visiting MSU Moorhead Friday at 5:30 p.m. and Northern State in a 4 p.m. contest.