Wayne State closed the first half with a 10-0 run and carried that momentum into the second half as the Wildcats completed a home weekend sweep with a 71-62 victory over Minot State Saturday evening in Northern Sun Conference men’s basketball played at Rice Auditorium. The Wildcats are now 10-15 and 7-9 in the NSIC South while Minot State drops to 10-12 and 4-12 in league play.
In a tightly contested first half that featured seven ties and six lead changes, Minot State and Wayne State battled back and forth until a late scoring surge by the Wildcats in the final three minutes of the half changed the tone of the contest.
Minot State held a 19-16 lead at the 10:59 mark of the first half. Wayne State used back-to-back 3-pointers from Henry Penner and Nick Ferrarini to take a 22-19 lead.
Wayne State held a pair of four point leads but the Beavers came back and forged ties at 28-28 and 31-31.
With the score tied at 31-31 with 2:51 to play in the half, Wayne State used a Ferrarini trey, two free throws from Nate Thayer and Nate Mohr followed by a Mohr 3-pointer at the buzzer giving WSC a 41-31 lead at intermission.
The Wildcats maintained a double digit lead a majority of the second half.
The biggest lead for WSC came at 50-35 with 15:48 to play.
Midway through the second half, Minot State made a charge at the Wildcats and got as close as six at 52-46 with 10:12 remaining, but the Wildcats scored eight straight points for a 60-46 lead following a Ben Dentlinger dunk with 4:41 remaining.
Wayne State ended the game making 25 of 51 shots for 49 percent, including 9 for 15 (60 percent) behind the 3-point line. WSC was 12-15 from the charity stripe.
Sophomore center Jordan Janssen finished with 19 points and 10 rebounds for his 13th double-double of the season. Al’Tavius Jackson accounted for 13 points while Nate Mohr and Nick Ferrarini also hit double figures with 12 and 11 points respectively.
Minot State was led by Kyle Beisch with 21 points. Kody Dwyer added 14 points with Trevor Rothstein scoring 11.
The Beavers shot 27 of 59 from the field for 45.8 percent. Minot State was 7 for 22 behind the arc and was just 1 of 2 at the free throw line.
Wayne State won the rebounding battle over Minot State 33-28 thanks to 10 boards by Janssen.
Janssen handed out seven assists to lead WSC while Dentlinger finished with two blocks.
Wayne State hits the road next weekend playing at St. Cloud State Friday night at 7:30 p.m. and Minnesota Duluth Saturday at 5:30 p.m.
Wayne State junior forward Erin Norling made a three-point play off a steal with 11.4 seconds to play giving the Wildcats a dramatic 73-72 home win over Minot State in Northern Sun Conference women’s basketball Saturday afternoon at Rice Auditorium in Wayne. WSC is now 15-7 on the year and 10-6 in the NSIC South Division while Minot State drops to 4-16 and 1-15 in the NSIC North Division.
A high scoring first quarter saw both teams make 10 baskets with the Wildcats holding a 24-22 lead after 10 minutes.
Wayne State led the entire second quarter, building a lead of 11 points at 39-28 following a Norling 3-pointer with 4:24 to go in the first half.
The visiting Beavers cut into the Wildcat advantage to end the half with WSC leading 42-40 at the break.
Neither team held a lead of more than four points in the third quarter as Minot State used 56 percent shooting (9-16) to outscore WSC 21-16 and take a 61-57 lead entering the fourth quarter.
Minot State took their biggest lead of the game at 66-61 with 6:59 remaining on a Mariah Payne basket.
WSC rallied with seven straight points and took a 68-66 lead on a Kylie Hammer layup with 4:29 to play.
But Minot State came back and took a 72-70 lead on a Bethany Theodore 3-pointer with 51 seconds remaining.
The Wildcats first chance to tie the game saw a shot by Brittany Bongartz blocked with Minot State getting the rebound.
WSC was forced to foul trailing by two points and the Wildcats got a steal from Kylie Hammer that led to a fast break layup from Norling, who was fouled on the play, with 11.4 seconds left to tie the score at 72-72.
Norling completed the three point play to give the Wildcats a 73-72 lead.
Minot State worked for the final shot and an attempt in the lane by Calli Delsman was off the mark as the Wildcats escaped with a 73-72 victory.
Freshman Josey Ryan paced five Wildcats in double figures with 16 points. Norling ended with 13 and moved her into 18th place on the all-time Wildcat scoring list with 1,185 points. Bongartz, Haley Vesey and Kylie Hammer each added 10 points apiece in the win.
Wayne State finished the game making 28 of 61 shots for 45.9 percent, including 8 for 22 behind the arc. The Wildcats were 9-10 at the charity stripe.
Bethany Theodore scored a game-high 23 points to lead Minot State followed by Mariah Payne with 20. Mollie Wilson also hit double digits with 13 points.
Minot State was 30 of 66 from the field for 45.5 percent, going 7-13 from the 3-point line and 5-6 at the foul stripe.
Minot State won the rebounding battle over WSC 39-30. Norling grabbed nine boards for the Wildcats.
Halley Busse handed out a career-high nine assists and had three steals for Wayne State.
The Wildcats will be on the road next weekend, visiting St. Cloud State Friday at 5:30 p.m. and Minnesota Duluth Saturday in a 3:30 p.m. contest.