MSU Moorhead built a 12-point lead in the opening five minutes and never trailed as the visiting Dragons downed Wayne State College 82-71 in Northern Sun Conference men’s basketball Friday evening at Rice Auditorium in Wayne. WSC drops to 6-14 and 3-8 in the NSIC while MSU Moorhead improves to 10-7 and 6-5 in the league.
The visiting Dragons rode the red-hot start by sophomore Gavin Baumgartner, who scored 20 points in the opening 10:15 of the contest.
MSU Moorhead took an 18-8 lead just 4:27 into the contest and still held a 26-15 lead with 11:28 to play in the half.
WSC battled back and forged a 28-28 tie following a jumper from Al’Tavius Jackson.
But it didn’t take long for the Dragons to push the advantage back to double digits as MSUM took a 41-31 lead on a Joe Sevlie basket with 4:11 to play in the half and closed the first half with a 48-39 lead.
The Dragons held the lead the entire second half, withstanding a couple of Wildcat runs.
MSU Moorhead took their first double digit lead of the second half at 58-47 at the 14:02 mark.
WSC then scored the next nine points and closed to within two at 58-56 on a Henry Penner 3-pointer.
After MSU Moorhead pushed the lead back to seven, the ‘Cats could only get as close as three as a Jordan Janssen basket pulled WSC within 65-62 with 5:58 to play.
Any Wildcat comeback was stopped by strong free throw shooting from MSU Moorhead late as the Dragons went 8-8 in the final 1:30 of the contest and ended with a double digit victory of 82-71.
Jordan Janssen paced Wayne State with 21 points on 10 of 11 shooting from the field. Also reaching double figures for Wayne State were Nate Mohr (12), Nick Ferrarini (11) and Nate Thayer (10).
WSC made 29 of 61 shots for 47.5 percent, including 4 for 12 behind the arc. The Wildcats were 9 of 12 at the line.
MSU Moorhead was led by Baumgartner’s 24 points with Jack Rusch adding 20 and Johnny Beeninga scoring 10.
The Dragons shot 43 percent from the field making 25 of 58 shots, including 6 for 20 from 3-point range. The Dragons were 26-34 at the charity stripe.
WSC won the rebounding battle 38-35 thanks to a career-best 13 caroms from Ben Dentlinger.
The Wildcats were guilty of 17 turnovers compared to just seven on MSU Moorhead, resulting in a 20-7 advantage in points off turnovers.
The Wildcats will be at home again Saturday hosting Northern State at 5:30 p.m.
Wayne State exploded to a 28-point lead early in the second quarter, then held off a furious MSU Moorhead rally in the second half where the Dragons actually led 64-62 before the Wildcats came back to post a thrilling 78-73 Northern Sun Conference women’s basketball win Friday night at Rice Auditorium in Wayne. The Wildcats move to 12-5 and 7-4 in the NSIC while MSU Moorhead drops to 13-5 and 8-3 in league games.
The Wildcats came out on fire, building a 31-10 lead in the first quarter thanks to 6-11 shooting from behind the arc in the opening 10 minutes. Halley Busse and Erin Norling hit double figures in the opening quarter with 12 and 10 points respectively.
WSC continued their torrid shooting the second quarter and once held a 41-13 lead at the 7:06 mark of the second quarter before closing the first half with a 46-26 lead at intermission.
The ‘Cats closed the opening half shooting 17-33 (51.5%) and 9 of 16 (56.3%) from the 3-point line.
But the warm shooting for the Wildcats went away in the second half and the visiting Dragons stormed back.
MSU Moorhead outscored WSC 27-11 in the third quarter and the Wildcats made just 4 of 19 shots (21%) from the field as the Dragons trailed by just four at 57-53 entering the final quarter.
The Dragons tied the score at 57-57 and took their first and only lead of the game at 64-62 with 5:44 to play.
MSU Moorhead closed within one at 71-70 with 2:23 remaining, but WSC got a basket from Brittany Bongartz with 1:06 to play to go up 73-70 and the ‘Cats made 5 of 6 free throws in the final 27 seconds to seal the 78-73 win.
Norling led Wayne State with her fourth double-double of the year – 20 points and 10 rebounds – followed by Busse with 19. Hammer also reached double digits for the ‘Cats with 12.
WSC ended the game making 27-64 shots for 42.2 percent, going 10 for 22 behind the arc and 14 for 18 at the charity stripe.
Peyton Boom scored a game-high 22 points for MSU Moorhead. Megan Hintz chipped in 14 points and 10 rebounds for the Dragons.
MSU Moorhead shot 26-70 for 37.1 percent, including 8 for 28 from the 3-point line. MSUM was 13-19 at the line.
The Dragons won the rebounding battle 48-37 with Norling grabbing 10 boards for WSC. Busse was credited with four assists and had four steals.
WSC will be at home again Saturday afternoon hosting Northern State in a 3:30 p.m. contest in Rice Auditorium.