The Wayne State College men’s basketball could not dig themselves out of a 20-point first half deficit as visiting Upper Iowa avenged a 99-71 loss to the Wildcats Friday evening with an 82-74 win over WSC Saturday afternoon at Rice Auditorium in Wayne. WSC falls to 4-4 overall and 4-2 in the NSIC South Division while UIU improves to 3-5 and 1-3 in divisional play.
The Wildcats never led in the contest as the visiting Peacocks stormed out to a 15-5 lead less than four minutes into the game and built a 20-point advantage at 32-12 with 8:34 to play in the opening half.
WSC was still trailing 36-16 at the 5:54 mark of the half when the Wildcats made a run.
A 13-0 run over the following 4:34 cut Upper Iowa’s lead to 36-29 following a Nate Mohr 3-pointer.
But UIU closed the half with the final four points and led 40-29 at intermission.
Wayne State opened the second half strong and cut Upper Iowa’s lead to four at 47-43 on an Alec Millender 3-pointer at the 15:02 mark.
However Upper Iowa responded and took a pair of 10 point leads again and was in front 60-50 with 12:23 to play.
WSC was still trailing 62-53 with 10:50 remaining and came back to tie the score at 68-68 on a Justin Eagins 3-pointer with 3:26 left.
Upper Iowa never let WSC get any closer as the Peacocks scored eight of the next nine points and took a 76-69 lead on a Joe Smoldt 3-pointer with 1:31 to play.
The Peacocks made a perfect 10 of 10 free throws in the second half that included six of six in the final 43 seconds to defeat Wayne State 82-74.
Millender and Mohr each scored 13 points for Wayne State followed by Jordan Janssen with 12 and Eagins 11.
WSC made 29 of 62 shots for 46.8 percent and hit 11 of 26 behind the arc. The ‘Cats were just 5 for 8 at the line.
Joe Smoldt led Upper Iowa with a game-high 29 points with Lucas Duax adding 23. Jareese Williams also hit double figures with 11 for UIU.
The Peacocks were 28 for 64 shooting for 43.8 percent and made 10 of 23 3-point shots (43.5%) while canning all 16 free throw attempts.
WSC held a 39-32 advantage in rebounding thanks to 10 caroms from Janssen and six each by Jay Saunders and Cody McCullough.
Janssen had five blocked shots for WSC to go with three assists.
Wayne State hits the road next weekend for NSIC South Division games at Winona State Friday at 6 p.m. and Saturday at 2 p.m.
Wayne State outscored Upper Iowa 26-16 in the fourth quarter including 12-4 in the final five minutes as the Wildcats completed a weekend NSIC South Division road sweep with a 78-70 win over the Peacocks Saturday afternoon at Dorman Gymnasium in Fayette, Iowa. WSC moves to 4-4 and 3-3 in the NSIC South while UIU drops to 1-7 and 0-6 in divisional play.
The Wildcats trailed most of the first quarter, but used nine straight points late in the quarter to turn a 14-10 deficit into a 19-17 lead after 10 minutes of play.
WSC used four 3-pointers for 12 of their 20 points scored in the quarter. The ‘Cats never led by more than five and used a Kylie Hammer layup to end the half for a 39-34 lead.
Wayne State built an early seven point lead in the third quarter, 46-39 with 6:43 to go in the quarter, but went ice cold from the field the rest of the quarter as Upper Iowa stormed back to tie the score at 48-48 and took a 54-52 lead heading into the fourth quarter. The ‘Cats hit just 3 of 13 shots (23%) in the third quarter.
Upper Iowa took their biggest lead of the game making the first basket in the fourth quarter for a 56-52 lead.
WSC then used back-to-back 3-pointers from Halley Busse and a layup from Hammer to gain a 60-58 lead with 7:33 remaining.
With the score tied at 66-66 with 5:21 to play, the ‘Cats got a basket from Autumn Mlinar followed by a 3-pointer from Erin Norling to take the lead for good at 71-66.
A Mlinar 3-pointer gave WSC a 74-68 lead and the ‘Cats made 4-6 free throws late to preserve the 78-70 win.
Norling scored 19 points and added 12 rebounds for third double-double of the season to lead a balanced Wildcat attack. Hammer followed with 17 points, Busse added 13 and Mlinar scored 12.
Wayne State made 24 of 62 shots from the field for 38.7 percent but made 11 of 24 from the 3-point line for 45 percent. The Wildcats were 19-28 (67.9%) at the free throw line.
Lydia Haack led Upper Iowa and all scorers with 29 points. Katie Tornstrom scored 10.
UIU shot 38 percent making 26 of 67 shots that included 7 for 23 from the 3-point line. The Peacocks were 11-13 at the foul stripe.
Wayne State dominated UIU on the glass with a 52-26 advantage that included 17 offensive rebounds by the Wildcats. Norling’s 12 boards led WSC followed by Mlinar with nine and Brittany Bongartz eight.
Hammer led WSC with four assists and also had a team-high three blocked shots.
The Wildcats will be at home next weekend hosting Winona State in NSIC South Division games Friday at 6:30 p.m. and Saturday at 2:30 p.m. in Rice Auditorium.