Wayne State saw four players score double figures while the Wildcats shot over 50 percent for the fifth straight game in a 74-56 NSIC South Division men’s basketball victory Saturday afternoon over Southwest Minnesota State at the R/A Facility in Marshall, Minnesota. The Wildcats move to 9-3 in the division and 9-5 overall and while the Mustangs drop to 2-7 and 0-5 in the NSIC South Division.
SMSU held an early 6-5 lead in the game, then Wayne State scored the next 13 points over a span of 3:56 to take the lead for good and take a double digit lead at 18-6 following a Nate Thayer 3-pointer with 12:07 left in the first half.
WSC maintained a double digit lead for most of the half until a late scoring spurt by SMSU cut the Mustang deficit to single digits.
Wayne State’s biggest lead of the half was 26-12 and the ‘Cats still led 28-16 at the 5:23 mark when the Mustangs began their comeback.
The Mustangs scored eight straight points and got within four at 28-24 with 3:52 to go in the half.
After getting as close as three at 32-29, SMSU stayed close with WSC the rest of the half and the Wildcats finished with a 40-35 lead at the break.
SMSU scored the first four points of the second half to close within one at 40-39.
WSC shut the door on the Mustangs and scored the next 11 points to push the lead back to double figures at 51-39 on a Ben Dentlinger basket with 13:14 to play.
Wayne State increased the led to 22 at 68-46 on a Jay Saunders 3-pointer with 6:56 to play and the ‘Cats closed with a 74-56 win.
Junior forward Jordan Janssen recorded his eighth double-double of the season with 14 points and 13 rebounds to pace a balanced Wildcat attack. Justin Eagins followed with 13 points while Nate Mohr (12) and Alec Millender (10) also hit double digits for WSC.
For the fifth straight game, Wayne State shot over 50 percent as the ‘Cats made 30 of 57 shots for 52.6 percent. WSC was 7 for 16 behind the arc and 7 of 9 at the foul line.
SMSU was led by Sam Schwartz with 13 points while Grant Kramer added 11.
The Mustangs were 21 of 56 from the field for 37.5 percent and 9 of 22 from the 3-point line.
WSC held a 36-29 edge in rebounding over SMSU thanks to 13 boards by Janssen and eight from Saunders.
Wayne State concludes the regular season next weekend with road games at Augustana Friday at 7 p.m. and Saturday in a 3 p.m. contest at the Sanford Pentagon.
Wayne State shot just 28.6 percent from the field and had 20 turnovers in a 85-49 home loss to Southwest Minnesota State Saturday in NSIC South Division women’s basketball at Rice Auditorium in Wayne. WSC falls to 6-8 and 5-7 in the division while the Mustangs are 8-4 and 6-4.
The Wildcats never led in the contest. SMSU came out strong and shot 50 percent from the field (8-16) while the Wildcats suffered a major blow midway through the first quarter when senior point guard Halley Busse left the game with an injury and WSC trailed 23-11 after the opening 10 minutes.
WSC struggled from the field in the second quarter, connecting on just 2 of 17 shots as the Mustangs outscored WSC 22-9 to take a commanding 45-20 lead at intermission.
The visiting Mustangs held a 22-15 scoring advantage in the third quarter and led 67-35 after three quarters and reserves played most of the fourth quarter to close out the 85-49 contest.
Junior guard Kylie Hammer had 17 points for the Wildcats followed by Josey Ryan with 16. Seniors Erin Norling and Busse, who combined for 53 points Friday evening in a 74-60 win over the Mustangs, did not score a point on Saturday as Norling went 0 for 10 from the field while Busse played just 5:41 before leaving with an injury.
WSC made 18 of 63 shots from the field for 28.6 percent, going just 4 of 23 from the 3-point line while making 9 of 12 free throws.
Sadie Stelter had 18 points for SMSU while Madison Gehloff (14) and Meleah Reinhart (13) also hit double digits.
SMSU was 28 for 61 from the field for 45.9 percent, including 12 of 28 behind the arc. The Mustangs also hit 17 of 18 at the free throw line.
WSC held a slim 40-39 edge in rebounding over SMSU with Hammer grabbing nine boards for the ‘Cats.
Sophomore Lauren Zacharias had seven assists and three steals for WSC.
The Wildcats will be at home again next weekend to close out the regular season hosting Augustana Friday at 6:30 p.m. and Saturday in a 2:30 p.m. contest.