Wayne State started the game making 13 of its first 16 shots and ended the game shooting 60 percent from the field as the Wildcats led from start to finish in a dominating 85-68 victory over Minnesota State in Northern Sun Conference South Division men’s basketball played Friday evening at Rice Auditorium in Wayne. WSC is now 3-2 overall and 3-0 in the NSIC South while MSU slips to 3-2 and 2-1 in league play.
The Wildcats scored the first 10 points of the game and never looked back. Before the midway point of the opening half, Wayne State already raced out to a 25-4 lead and was in front 29-7 at the under 10 media timeout making 13 of its first 16 shots from the field.
Wayne State pushed the lead to 25 at 38-13 on a Justin Eagins 3-pointer with 3:24 left in the first half before closing the half with a 40-21 advantage.
Eagins was a perfect 5 of 5 from the floor in the first half and had 12 points as WSC was 17 of 30 shooting in the opening half for 56.7 percent.
The hot shooting continued for the Wildcats in the second half, never allowing the visiting Mavericks a chance to get back into the game.
Wayne State held a 20-point or more advantage much of the second half with the biggest lead coming at the 4:03 mark 81-53.
A milestone moment happened with 4:24 to play in the game when senior forward Ben Dentlinger blocked a Tyrell Stuttley baseline shot to make Dentlinger the all-time blocks leader at WSC with 101, surpassing Eric Henderson’s (1996-2000) previous mark of 100 blocks.
WSC has now won two of the last three meetings against Minnesota State in a series dominated by the Mavericks 28-5.
Junior guard Nate Mohr led Wayne State in scoring with 22 points, a career-high, going 7 of 13 from the field and 6 for 6 at the foul stripe. Redshirt freshman Justin Eagins added a season-best 16 points on 7 of 8 shooting. Jordan Janssen and Alec Millender each scored 14 points for the Wildcats.
WSC shot a sizzling 60.7 percent from the field making 34 of 56 shots. The ‘Cats were 7 for 14 behind the arc and 10 of 12 at the charity stripe.
Minnnesota State’s leading scorers were Brady Williams and Devonte Thedford with 13 points apiece.
MSU was 23 of 58 shooting for 39.7 percent, including 10 of 27 from the 3-point line. The Mavericks were 12-18 at the foul stripe.
Both teams had 31 rebounds in the contest with Janssen and Jay Saunders each grabbing eight caroms for the Wildcats. Janssen handed out a team-high six assists while Saunders had three steals.
The Wildcats host Minnesota State again Saturday afternoon in a 2:30 p.m. contest at Rice Auditorium.