Minnesota State’s Kevin Krieger scored 20 of his game-high 24 points in the first half to lead the host Mavericks in a 89-78 victory over Wayne State College Saturday evening in Northern Sun Conference men’s basketball played at the Taylor Center in Mankato, Minnesota. It was Minnesota State’s 14th straight win over the Wildcats dating back to 2012 and forced a tie between the two teams for first place in the NSIC South Division. Both teams are now 13-7 in league play with WSC at 18-8 overall and MSU at 17-9.
WSC trailed early by scores of 8-2 and 10-5. The ‘Cats used back-to-back baskets from Vance Janssen and a tip in from Jordan Janssen to take their only lead of the game at 11-10.
The lead lasted 24 seconds as Minnesota State scored six of the next seven points for a 16-12 lead.
The Wildcats were within three at 23-20 following a Jordan Janssen basket with 8:21 left in the half.
Minnesota State scored the next four points for a 27-20 lead and took their first double digit lead at 37-27 as MSU’s Kevin Krieger scored the Mavericks’ final eight points of the half giving MSU a 42-29 lead at intermission.
The Mavericks never allowed WSC a chance for a comeback in the second half, maintaining a double digit lead thanks to hot shooting as MSU made 6 of their first 7 shots and 9 of 14 midway through the second half to stave off the Wildcats.
Minnesota State built a 70-50 lead at the 9:17 mark, but a 10-2 WSC run cut into the Maverick lead at 72-60 after a Nate Mohr 3-pointer with 6:16 left.
WSC finally cut the deficit to single digits with 1:06 to play when Vance Janssen recorded a back court steal and layup to make the score 83-74.
But the Mavericks scored on their next two possessions to push the lead back to 13 at 87-74 and finished with the 89-78 win.
Senior forward Kendall Jacks led Wayne State in scoring with 17 points, becoming the schools’ all-time leader in scoring in NSIC games with 1,183 points. The old mark was held by Amry Shelby (2009-13) at 1,179 points. Jacks is now 19th all-time in NSIC scoring.
Other Wildcats in double figures were Nick Ferrarini with 16 points and Vance and Jordan Janssen at 14 each.
Wayne State made 29 of 67 shots from the field for 43.3 percent, but was just 4 of 19 from the 3-point line. The ‘Cats made 16 of 20 (80%) at the charity stripe.
Krieger led Minnesota State with his game-high 24 points followed by Carlos Anderson with 20. Cameron Kirksey added 17 with Tre Baumgardner scoring 10.
MSU connected on 33 of 57 shots from the field for 57.9 percent, including 18-27 (66.7%) in the second half. The Mavericks were 9 of 22 behind the arc and 14-17 at the free throw line.
The Mavericks out-rebounded WSC 37-28 with Jordan Janssen grabbing eight boards for WSC.
Jacks was credited with four assists while Vance Janssen and Nate Mohr each had three steals.
Wayne State will be at home next weekend to conclude the regular season, entertaining Southwest Minnesota State Friday at 7:30 p.m. and Sioux Falls Saturday in a 5:30 p.m. contest.
Sophomore point guard Halley Busse scorched the nets for a career-high 29 points that included 8 of 11 shooting from the 3-point line, but it was not enough as the Wayne State College women’s basketball team dropped a 90-82 Northern Sun Conference women’s basketball contest at Minnesota State Saturday evening in Mankato, Minnesota at Taylor Center. Host MSU is now 12-12 overall and 9-11 in the NSIC while WSC slips to 13-13 and 8-12 in league games.
The Wildcats never led in the contest and were down double digits less than seven minutes into the contest, trailing 20-10 with 3:14 left in the first quarter before ending the quarter down 23-14.
An Andrea Larson 3-pointer to open the second quarter got WSC as close as six at 23-17, but the host Mavericks went on a 13-2 run and took a 36-19 lead before finishing the first half with a 44-29 lead at the break.
WSC used the 3-pointer to stay within range during the second half. In the third quarter, 3-pointers from Halley Busse and Maggie Lowe got WSC within 10 at 54-44 with 4:42 left in the quarter, but Minnesota State responded and pushed the lead back to 16 (64-48) at the end of the third quarter.
Busse’s hot shooting in the fourth quarter helped WSC make a late run at the Mavericks.
MSU held a 71-51 lead at the 8:30 mark. But a Brittney Bongartz layup followed by consecutive 3-pointers from Busse got the ‘Cats within 12 at 71-59 and later in the quarter a Busse three-point play pulled the Wildcats within eight at 78-70 with 3:01 to play. That’s as close as the Wildcats would get as WSC outscored MSU in the fourth quarter 34-26 to make the final score 90-82.
Busse ended the game with a career-high 29 points, 21 coming in the second half on 7 of 8 shooting and 6 for 7 from the 3-point line. She was 10 of 13 from the field and 8 for 11 behind the 3-point line. The 8 3-pointers are tied for the second most in a single game by a Wildcat player, joining Dodie Martin in 2002 and Mary Schnitzler in 1992 as other Wildcat players to achieve the feat.
Senior guard Maggie Lowe also had a career night from the 3-point line, going 5 of 7 behind the arc (career-high) while scoring a career-best 17 points. Sophomore Erin Norling also scored 17 points for the Wildcats.
Wayne State ended the game making 30 of 64 shots for 46.9 percent, the second-best shooting night of the season for the Wildcats. WSC was 17 of 35 from the 3-point line and just 5 for 7 at the foul line.
Tayla Stuttley led Minnesota State in scoring with 16 points followed by Taylor Drost with 15 and Ashley Reed 14.
Minnesota State was 35 of 76 shooting for 46.1 percent, including 9 of 25 from the 3-point line. The Mavericks were 11 for 15 at the charity stripe.
WSC held a slim 41-38 advantage in rebounding on the Mavericks with Busse and Haley Vesey each grabbing seven boards.
The Wildcats were charged with 20 turnovers in the game to just 11 on MSU, resulting in a 25-7 advantage in points off turnovers for the Mavericks.
Norling had five assists with Lowe and Busse each recording four while Busse and Bongartz each had two steals.
The Wildcats will close out the regular season next weekend at home, hosting Southwest Minnesota State Friday at 5:30 p.m. and Sioux Falls Saturday in a 3:30 p.m. contest in Rice Auditorium.