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Wayne State Men and Women split with Southwest Minnesota State

Wayne State Men and Women split with Southwest Minnesota State

Southwest Minnesota State used big plays late in the game to rally from a 50-45 deficit as the visiting Mustangs dealt Wayne State College a sixth straight loss Saturday evening 62-59 in a Northern Sun Conference South Division men’s basketball contest at Rice Auditorium in Wayne. WSC drops to 5-12 and 2-6 in the NSIC while SMSU is 5-9 and 2-6 in the league.

Wayne State led for much of the first half, building a 20-10 lead at the 10:13 mark on a Henry Penner 3-pointer.

The Mustangs then scored nine straight points and closed within 20-19 following back-to-back 3-pointers from Kenny Byers.

WSC pushed the lead back to six at 31-25, but SMSU closed the final 3:28 of the half strong and held a 33-32 lead at intermission over the Wildcats.

Southwest Minnesota State held a five point lead (39-34) at the 15:55 mark of the second half, but WSC reeled off seven straight points and took a 41-39 lead on two Obi Patrick free throws.

The game turned into a defensive battle with WSC holding a 50-45 lead with 4:35 to play.

But SMSU’s Andy Stafford sank a trio of 3-pointers in just 1:45 to give the Mustangs the lead for good at 56-54 with 1:47 left.

SMSU increased the lead to five at 60-55 with 23 seconds to play, but WSC used a Nate Mohr basket and a offensive rebound put-back from Ben Dentlinger to close within 60-59 with three seconds left.

WSC then fouled SMSU’s Kenny Byers on the inbounds with 2.3 seconds left and he sank a pair of free throws for the final 62-59 scoring margin.

WSC was 21 of 60 shooting for 35 percent, including 8 for 27 (29.6%) in the second half. The Wildcats were 4 of 12 behind the arc and 13 for 18 at the foul stripe.

Sophomore center Jordan Janssen recorded his 10th double-double of the year with 25 points and 11 rebounds. Mohr also reached double figures with 10.

SMSU made 22 of 52 shots from the floor for 42.3 percent, going 7 of 15 from the 3-point line while making 11 for 16 at the foul stripe.

Byers had a double-double to lead SMSU with 24 points and 11 boards while Andy Stafford reached double digits with 13.

Southwest Minnesota State won the rebounding battle over Wayne State 43-32. WSC forced 20 turnovers on SMSU and held a 21-5 edge in points off turnovers while the ‘Cats had 11 turnovers.

The Wildcats will be on the road next weekend, visiting Winona State Friday at 7:30 p.m. and Upper Iowa Saturday at 5:30 p.m. in NSIC South Division games.

Wayne State built a 28-17 first quarter lead and never looked back as the Wildcats notched their 10th win of the season Saturday evening with a 79-62 Northern Sun Conference women’s basketball win over Southwest Minnesota State at Rice Auditorium in Wayne. The Wildcats are now 10-4 and 5-3 in the NSIC while the Mustangs fall to 6-7 and 1-7 in league games.

The score was tied 4-4 at the 6:15 mark of the first quarter, then the Wildcats used consecutive 3-pointers by Kylie Hammer, Erin Norling and Halley Busse to take a 13-4 advantage.

After SMSU got within five at 13-8, WSC went on a 10-2 run to build a 23-10 lead that catapulted the Wildcats to a 28-17 first quarter lead thanks to 4 of 6 shooting from the 3-point line to start the game.

The Mustangs got as close as seven in the second quarter several times, but the ‘Cats built the lead into double digits at the end of the half and after leading 45-30 following a Josey Ryan 3-pointer ended the half with a 45-36 lead.

SMSU scored the first four points of the third quarter to make the score 45-40, but Wayne State went on a 14-0 run over a span of 3:51 to take a commanding 59-40 lead.

Wayne State ended the third quarter with a 63-47 lead and reserves dominated play in the fourth quarter as the Wildcats closed with a 79-62 win.

Junior forward Erin Norling scored a game-high 21 points to lead four Wayne State players in double figures. Halley Busse added 14 points while Kylie Hammer and Josey Ryan also hit double digits with 13 and 12 respectively.

WSC made 30 of 67 shots from the field for 44.8 percent. The ‘Cats were 8 for 21 behind the arc and 11 of 13 at the charity stripe.

Abuk Akoi and Meleah Reinhart scored 15 points apiece to pace Southwest Minnesota State in scoring with Sadie Stelter also reaching double figures with 11 points.

Southwest Minnesota State connected on 21 of 61 shots from the field for 34.4 percent, making just 2 of 17 shots from the 3-point line. The Mustangs were 18 for 24 (75%) at the charity stripe.

The Mustangs held a 41-38 advantage in rebounding on the Wildcats despite seven boards from Brittany Bongartz. WSC forced SMSU into 17 turnovers while the Wildcats had 14, but Wayne State held a 24-14 advantage in points off turnovers.

Norling and Busse each handed out four assists while Haley Vesey had two steals.

WSC will be on the road next weekend for NSIC South Division games at Winona State Friday night at 5:30 p.m. and Upper Iowa Saturday afternoon at 3:30 p.m.

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