The Wayne State College men’s basketball team suffered a 75-64 defeat at Sioux Falls Saturday evening in the NSIC regular season finale despite shooting 54 percent (25-46) from the field. The host Cougars improved to 21-7 and 17-5 in the NSIC South while WSC dropped to 10-21 and 7-15 in league play.
The Wildcats held the lead for a good share of the first half until a late scoring run by the Cougars gave Sioux Falls the lead.
WSC used a Henry Penner 3-pointer at the 9:48 mark of the opening half to take their biggest lead of the night at 18-13.
The Wildcats were still in front 24-20 following a jumper from Al’Tavius Jackson with 5:58 left before halftime.
Sioux Falls then outscored the Wildcats 13-4 to end the half with the Cougars closing the half with their biggest lead in the opening 20 minutes at 33-28.
The ‘Cats stayed within reach of the Cougars in the opening part of the second half until USF pulled away for a double digit lead in the final seven minutes.
Sioux Falls was leading 40-34 when WSC used a Jackson 3-pointer and a pair of Jordan Janssen free throws to get within one at 40-39 with 15:00 to play.
The Cougars reeled off the next seven points for a 47-39 lead. A Nate Mohr 3-pointer got WSC to within 52-47 with 10:35 to play.
Sioux Falls slowly extended their lead to double digits – 63-53 with 6:27 to play – and went on to finish with the 75-64 victory.
Jordan Janssen led Wayne State in scoring with 19 points on 8 of 11 shooting. Al’Tavius Jackson chipped in 15 points with Nick Ferrarini adding 10.
The Wildcats shot 54.3 percent from the field, their third-best shooting night of the season, going 25 of 46 from the field. WSC was 6-13 from 3-point range and 8 of 14 at the foul stripe.
Sioux Falls saw Jack Thompson score a team-high 18 points for the Cougars, one of five players in double figures. Devon Green (13), Milan Surlic (12), Troy Houghton (11) and Chase Grinde (10) also reached double digits.
The Cougars made 29-58 shots for an even 50 percent, including 9-21 behind the arc, and 8-12 at the free throw line.
Sioux Falls held a 30-24 edge in rebounding over the Wildcats with Janssen grabbing eight for WSC.
The Wildcats begin play in the opening round of the NSIC/Sanford Health Men’s Basketball Tournament Wednesday evening with a road trip to MSU Moorhead, the #3 seed from the NSIC North Division with game time set for 6 p.m.
Despite a career-best 32 points from junior center Brittany Bongartz, the Wayne State College women’s basketball team lost at #16 Sioux Falls 89-75 Saturday afternoon in the regular season women’s basketball finale played at the Stewart Center in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. The host Cougars are now 24-5 and NSIC South Division champions with a 17-5 league record while WSC slips to 16-12 and 11-11 in league play.
The host Cougars held the lead for most of the first quarter, building a pair of six point advantages (18-12 and 20-14) before finishing with a 20-16 lead.
Wayne State and Sioux Falls traded eight lead changes and five ties in the second quarter, but a late scoring surge by the Cougars to end the quarter gave USF a 44-37 lead at intermission.
A 3-pointer from Autumn Mlinar gave WSC their first lead of the quarter at 21-20. After trading several lead changes and ties, WSC took their final lead of the second quarter on a three-point play from Bongartz with 2:37 to go at 35-33.
Sioux Falls then closed the half on a 11-2 run and grabbed a 44-37 lead at the break.
The Cougars held the lead the entire third quarter, but WSC outscored USF 24-21 to stay in the contest.
After USF built an eight point lead at 53-45, WSC closed within one at 56-55 with 4:13 left in the third quarter following an Erin Norling basket. But less than two minutes later the Cougars had the lead back to eight (65-57) and closed the third quarter with a 65-61 lead.
A 9-2 scoring run by the Cougars to open the fourth quarter gave USF their first double digit lead of the second half at 74-63 with 8:00 to play.
Wayne State got as close as six at 80-74 following a pair of Bongartz free throws with 2:26 remaining. The Cougars put the game out of reach with the next six points for a 86-74 lead and USF ended with the 89-75 win.
Bongartz poured in a career-high 32 points to lead Wayne State, surpassing her previous career-high of 25 set against Sioux Falls last season. She was 8 of 15 from the field and drained 16 of 17 free throws, tied for the second-most free throws made in a single game by a Wildcat player. Erin Norling also reached double figures with 22 points, her 15th game this season with 20 or more points.
Wayne State was 24 of 59 shooting for 40.7 percent, but just 3 of 13 from the 3-point line. The ‘Cats were 24-31 at the charity stripe for 77.4 percent.
Five players reached double figures for Sioux Falls, paced by Kaely Hummel’s 18 points. Augusta Thramer added 15 with Kiara James scoring 14. Mariah Szymanski chipped in 12 with Jessie Geer scoring 10.
Sioux Falls shot 45.3 percent from the field making 29 of 64 shots. The Cougars were 4-16 from behind the arc and made 27 of 32 free throws.
WSC held a 38-36 advantage in rebounding thanks to eight boards each from Bongartz and Norling. Halley Busse handed out seven assists for the Wildcats while Bongartz had two blocked shots.
Wayne State will play in the opening round of the NSIC/Sanford Health Women’s Basketball Tournament Wednesday evening traveling to St. Cloud State for a 6 p.m. contest. WSC is the #7 seed in the NSIC South Division (16-12, 11-11 NSIC) while the Huskies are the #2 seed from the NSIC North Division (19-7, 16-6 NSIC North). In the one meeting this season, WSC posted a 79-58 win at St. Cloud State on February 7th.