Wayne State opened the second half with a 12-0 run to break open a one point game at halftime to lead the Wildcats in a 88-69 Northern Sun Conference men’s basketball win over Upper Iowa Friday evening at Rice Auditorium. WSC is now 4-6 and 1-1 in the NSIC while UIU is 4-4 and 1-1 in league games.
The first half was a back and forth battle featuring nine lead changes and five ties. With Upper Iowa leading 23-21 at the 6:41 mark, WSC reeled off 10 straight points by eight straight points from Nick Ferrarini for a 31-23 lead.
WSC was still leading 38-29 with three minutes left but Upper Iowa closed the half with the final eight points to make the score 38-37 at halftime.
The Wildcats opened the second half scoring the first 12 points for a 50-37 lead with 16:27 to play.
WSC maintained a double digit lead the rest of the game and held a 77-55 advantage with 6:45 remaining, but UIU suddenly scored 11 straight points and got within 11 at 77-66 at the 2:58 mark.
The Wildcats then closed the game strong and ended with a 88-69 win.
Sophomore forward Nick Ferrarini led four Wildcats in double figures with 19 points. Sophomore center Jordan Janssen notched his seventh double-double of the year with 17 points and 21 rebounds. The 21 rebounds is tied for fifth-most in a single game by a Wildcat and the most since David Allen’s 21 rebounds vs. Northwest Missouri State on February 15, 1983.
Other Wildcats in double figures were Al’Tavius Jackson with 14 points and Nate Thayer 12.
Wayne State made 33-63 shots for 52.4 percent. The ‘Cats were 7 for 17 behind the arc and 15 of 19 (78.9%) at the charity stripe.
Jareese Williams scored 16 points to lead Upper Iowa followed by Jake Hilmer with 14 and Joe Smoldt 10.
The Peacocks made 26 of 68 shots from the floor including 7 of 26 from the 3-point line. UIU was 10 for 17 at the free throw line.
Wayne State held a sizeable 50-26 advantage in rebounding over the Peacocks thanks to 21 caroms by Janssen.
The Wildcats had an uncharacteristic 19 turnovers compared to 10 for UIU.
Janssen and Jackson each had four assists while Janssen recorded five blocked shots with Ben Dentlinger adding three.
WSC will host Winona State Saturday in an NSIC South Division contest at 5:30 p.m.
Freshman forward Josey Ryan scored a season-best 21 points and Wayne State outscored Upper Iowa 44-26 in the second half to pull away for a 86-59 Northern Sun Conference women’s basketball victory Friday night at Rice Auditorium in Wayne. The Wildcats move to 6-1 and 2-0 in the NSIC with the win while the visiting Peacocks drop to 0-7 and 0-2 in the league.
Wayne State never trailed in the contest although the Peacocks kept the game close much of the first half.
The ‘Cats took a 15-4 lead at the 5:32 mark of the first quarter following an Erin Norling basket and WSC finished the opening stanza with a 24-16 advantage.
Upper Iowa got as close as five at 28-23, but the ‘Cats stormed back and pushed the lead back to 12 at 42-30 before finishing the half with a 42-33 lead.
The third quarter saw UIU stay close early as the Peacocks trailed 46-39 with 7:07 to play in the quarter.
Wayne State put the game out of reach with a 15-2 run and held a 61-44 lead after three quarters.
The ‘Cats closed the contest outscoring Upper Iowa 25-15 in the fourth quarter for a final score of 86-59.
Ryan led all scorers with her career-best 21 points on 10 of 13 shooting from the field. Other Wildcats reaching double figures were Halley Busse with 14, Erin Norling 12 and Brittany Bongartz 11.
Wayne State finished the game making 31-63 shots for 49.2 percent, going 5 for 19 from the 3-point line and 19-23 (82.6%) at the free throw line.
For Upper Iowa, Bekka Pierson scored 11 points with Megan Peterson adding 10.
The Peacocks were 21-56 from the floor for 37.5 percent, 8-22 behind the arc (36.4%) and 9 for 13 at the free throw line.
Wayne State held a 40-31 edge in rebounding over Upper Iowa thanks to seven boards from Norling. Busse had six of Wayne State’s 24 assists on the night to go with a team-high three steals.
WSC had just 12 turnovers in the game compared to 20 for Upper Iowa and the Wildcats held a commanding 48-18 edge on points in the paint.
The Wildcats will be at home again Saturday afternoon hosting Winona State at 3:30 p.m.