Wayne State jumped out to a 10-0 lead and never trailed as the Wildcats rolled to a 99-71 NSIC South Division men’s basketball win Friday evening over the Upper Iowa Peacocks at Rice Auditorium in Wayne. WSC improves to 4-3 and 4-1 in the NSIC South Division while the Peacocks drop to 2-5 and 0-3 in the division.
The ‘Cats took a quick 10-0 lead in the opening 2:20 of the contest thanks to jumpers from Nate Mohr and Jordan Janssen along with 3-pointers from Alec Millender and Jay Saunders.
Upper Iowa battled back and forged a 19-19 tie at the 10:43 mark of the half, but WSC took the lead for good on baskets from Cody McCullough and Janssen and never trailed the rest of the night.
The visiting Peacocks were within three at 28-25 with 7:38 to play in the half, but Wayne State used a 10-2 run to take their first double digit lead of the game at 38-27 on a Nate Mohr basket with 4:55 to play in the half.
The ‘Cats closed the half strong and took a 48-32 lead at intermission thanks to 50 percent shooting (20-40) in the first half.
Wayne State continued their high scoring attack in the second half, taking a 21-point lead (57-36) three minutes into the second half.
WSC maintained a lead of 20 or more points for a majority of the second half and used 57 percent shooting in the second half (20-35) to pull away for the 99-71 win.
Junior forward Jordan Janssen paced Wayne State with his 30th career double-double of 23 points and 16 rebounds, making 10 of 15 shots from the field.
Freshman guard Jay Saunders contributed 16 points followed by Mohr with 13, McCullough a season-high 12 and Alec Millender 11.
Wayne State ended the night making 40 of 75 shots for 53.3 percent, going 11-26 from the 3-point line and 8 of 10 at the free throw stripe.
Jareese Williams scored 15 points to lead Upper Iowa. The Peacocks shot 37.7 percent making 23 of 61 shots and were 8 of 26 behind the arc while making 17-23 free throws.
WSC held a commanding 54-23 edge in rebounding thanks to 16 boards from Janssen followed by McCullough with eight.
Mohr handed out six of Wayne State’s 21 assists in the contest.
WSC held a 52-26 edge on points in the paint and 24-4 in second chance points over the Peacocks.
Upper Iowa and Wayne State face off again Saturday afternoon at 2:30 p.m. in Rice Auditorium.
Senior guard Halley Busse poured in a game-high 23 points to go with eight assists to lead the Wayne State College women’s basketball team to a 84-79 NSIC South Division road victory Friday evening over Upper Iowa at Dorman Gymnasium in Fayette, Iowa. WSC improves to 3-4 and 2-3 in the NSIC South Division while host UIU slips to 1-6 and 0-5 in the NSIC South Division.
The ‘Cats used strong shooting in the first quarter to take a 25-19 lead as WSC made 9 of 17 from the field and 3 for 6 shots behind the arc. Busse had eight first quarter points to lead the Wildcats.
The second quarter featured scoring runs by both clubs, but it was a second WSC scoring run to end the half that gave the Wildcats a double figure lead at intermission.
Erin Norling’s basket at the 5:29 mark gave WSC its biggest lead of the game at 36-24 midway through the second quarter.
But the host Peacocks used an 11-2 run to reduce the Wildcat advantage to three at 38-35 with 3:50 to play in the first half.
Wayne State then responded with the next eight points and took a 46-35 lead before using a Halley Busse 3-pointer with two seconds left in the half to give the ‘Cats a 49-38 lead at halftime.
WSC never trailed the rest of the night, but had to hold off several Upper Iowa rallies to seal the win.
The ‘Cats held a 58-48 lead with 6:17 to play third quarter, but UIU closed to within four at 58-54 before WSC closed the quarter with a 64-57 lead.
Wayne State held a pair of eight point leads in the fourth quarter with the final one coming at 74-66 following a Busse three-point play with 6:10 to go.
UIU got as close as three at 74-71 with 3:37 left. WSC built the lead back to seven in the final minute and ended with the 84-79 win.
Busse had 18 of her game-high 23 points in the first half to lead all scorers in the contest.
Senior forward Erin Norling chipped in 17 points and moved past two former Wildcat greats and now ranks eighth in all-time scoring at WSC with 1,453 points. Norling jumped ahead of Ashton Yossi (1,444 points from 2011-15) and Paige Ballinger (1,448 points from 2014-18) to enter the eighth spot in all-time scoring at WSC.
Josey Ryan added 15 points with Autumn Mlinar scoring 12 for her sixth straight game in double digits.
WSC made 29 of 67 shots for 43.3 percent, including 6 for 20 behind the arc. The ‘Cats were 20-24 at the free throw line.
Brooke Evenson had 18 points to lead Upper Iowa in scoring followed by Lydia Haack with 11.
The Peacocks were 27 of 72 from the field for 37.5 percent, making 12 of 32 3-point shots to go with 13-15 at the charity stripe.
WSC held a slim 43-41 edge in rebounding thanks to nine boards from Norling, who also had four assists and two blocked shots on the night.
Busse handed out eight of Wayne State’s 17 assists.
WSC and UIU meet again Saturday afternoon at 2 p.m. in Fayette, Iowa.