Host Bemidji State shot 59 percent in the first half to build a 20-point lead and the Beavers cruised to a 90-61 Northern Sun Conference men’s basketball victory over Wayne State College Friday evening in Bemidji, Minnesota. BSU is now 5-3 and 2-2 in the NSIC North while WSC falls to 5-7 on the year and 2-2 in the NSIC South Division.
Wayne State enjoyed a short-lived lead in the first half, but the Wildcats could not overcome 29 percent (8-27) shooting in the first half while the host Beavers knocked down 59 percent (13-22) to build a 44-24 halftime lead.
The Wildcats were close early with their final lead coming at 10-7. WSC was still within one point at 19-18 with 8:11 left in the half before BSU reeled off 10 straight points to take their first double digit lead of the night at 29-18 and the Beavers closed the half on a 15-4 run to take a commanding 44-24 halftime advantage.
Even though WSC made 11 of their first 13 shots to start the second half, the Wildcats could never gain any ground on the host Beavers.
WSC got as close as 15 in the second half at 63-48 near the 10:00 mark, but the host Beavers scored 15 of the next 16 points for a 78-49 lead and rolled to the 90-61 win.
Jordan Janssen led Wayne State in scoring with 12 points followed by Al’Tavius Jackson and Nate Mohr with 11 apiece.
WSC finished the game making 24 of 59 shots for 40.7 percent despite going 14-23 (60.9%) in the second half. The Wildcats were 4-15 from 3-point range and just 9-23 (39%) at the charity stripe.
Nick Wagner poured in 28 points on 10-14 shooting to pace Bemidji State in scoring. Griffin Chase added 18 points followed by Max Bjorklund (14) and Logan Bader (11).
Bemidji State shot 56.1 percent from the field making 32 of 57 shots. The Beavers, who entered the game leading the NSIC in 3-point field goals per game, sank 12 of 29 behind the arc and were 14-19 at the line.
BSU won the rebounding battle over WSC 39-31. Janssen and Nick Ferrarini each had five boards for the Wildcats.
Wayne State will conclude their NSIC road trip Saturday at Minnesota Crookston in a 5:30 p.m. contest.
Wayne State used five players in double figures and shot over 50 percent for just the second time in 39 games under head coach Brent Pollari as the Wildcats rallied late for an 87-82 Northern Sun Conference women’s basketball win Friday evening over Bemidji State at BSU Gymnasium in Bemidji, Minnesota. The ‘Cats improve to 7-2 and 3-1 in the NSIC while the host Beavers drop to 4-4 and 1-3 in the league.
The ‘Cats held a 14-10 lead at the 3:21 mark of the first stanza, but BSU closed the opening quarter with a 13-2 run to take a 23-16 lead after 10 minutes of play.
Bemidji State maintained the lead for the entire second quarter, building a pair of 10-point leads before the Wildcats scored the final four points of the quarter to cut the Beaver lead to 47-41 at intermission.
Both teams shot 50 percent or better in the third quarter and the Wildcats forged six ties and knotted the score at 60-60 heading into the fourth quarter.
A Josey Ryan basket to open the fourth quarter gave WSC its first lead (62-60) since late in the first quarter. The ‘Cats never led by more than four points until the final score.
Bemidji State took their final lead at 78-76 with 3:34 to play on a Taylor Bray basket. The game was tied two more times with the 13th and final tie of the contest coming at 79-79 with 1:41 to play.
Junior forward Erin Norling’s old fashioned three-point play with 40 seconds remaining gave WSC the lead for good at 82-79.
Junior guard Halley Busse sank four consecutive free throws and Norling made one of two with 4.5 seconds left to seal the Wayne State win.
Five Wildcats scored in double figures, led by Norling’s double-double with 22 points and 12 rebounds. Sophomore guard Kylie Hammer and Busse each added 13 points with Brittany Bongartz scoring 12. Sophomore Autumn Mlinar chipped in a career-best 11 points on 5-8 shooting.
For just the second time in 39 games under head coach Brent Pollari, WSC shot over 50 percent in a game as the Wildcats made 31 of 61 shots for 50.8 percent. WSC was 5 for 17 from the 3-point line and 20-23 (87%) from the free throw line.
For Bemidji State, Taylor Bray scored 21 points with Brooklyn Bachmann adding 20 points. Trinity Myer (12) and Rachael Heittola (11) also reached double digits for the Beavers.
BSU connected on 31 of 69 shots for 44.9 percent including 8 for 31 behind the arc. The Beavers were 12 of 18 at the foul line.
WSC out-rebounded Bemidji State 41-33 with Norling grabbing 12 caroms for the Wildcats. Hammer and Busse each had three assists for the ‘Cats in the win.
Wayne State will be in action again Saturday playing at Minnesota Crookston in a 3:30 p.m. contest.