Wayne State sophomore forward Nick Ferrarini scored 16 of his game-high 21 points in the second half, including a fast break layup with five seconds left for the game-winning basket, as the Wildcats shocked Minnesota State 73-71 Friday evening in Northern Sun Conference men’s basketball played at the Taylor Center in Mankato, Minnesota.
The win snapped a 14-game losing streak to Minnesota State dating back to the 2011-12 season (67-52 in Mankato on 2/4/12) and the Wildcats had lost 22 of the last 23 meetings vs. the Mavericks before the Friday night win. WSC is now 7-15 and 4-9 in the NSIC South Division while MSU slips to 10-9 and 8-5 in the league.
The Wildcats held the lead a majority of the first half thanks to stellar shooting in the opening 20 minutes.
WSC took a 12-4 lead on a Ferrarini 3-pointer and built a 22-10 advantage following a layup from Isiah Burd with 10:18 to play in the first half.
The host Mavericks then reeled off nine straight points in just 1:17 and cut the double digit lead to three at 22-19.
Wayne State still held a 30-25 lead with 5:52 to play in the half, but MSU scored nine points in a row to grab their first lead of the game at 34-30.
The Wildcats responded with seven straight points to regain the lead and held a 39-38 lead at intermission.
The second half was a battle with neither team leading by more than five points featuring seven ties and six lead changes.
Despite the close margin, Minnesota State led most of the second half until the final two minutes when Wayne State came up with big plays and shots for the win.
The biggest lead of the second half came at 56-51 for Minnesota State after a Carter Asche jumper with 11:31 remaining.
WSC used a Nate Mohr layup and a 3-pointer from Nate Thayer to even the score at 56-56.
The ‘Cats took a 66-65 lead on a Mohr layup. The two teams traded two more ties and with the score tied at 68 Mohr drained a 3-pointer for the ‘Cats, giving WSC a 71-68 lead.
Minnesota State tied the score for the final time at 71-71 on a pair of Corvon Seales free throws with 58 seconds remaining.
WSC turned the ball over on their next possession and Minnesota State missed two shots for the potential go-ahead basket.
Sophomore Jordan Janssen rebounded a Cameron Kirksey miss and fired a long pass on a fast break to Ferrarini who converted a lay in with five seconds left for a 73-71 lead.
MSU had one last chance but a 3-pointer from Kevin Krieger was well defended and missed off the side of the rim as time expired and WSC held on for the win.
Ferrarini’s game-high 21 points, 16 in the second half, led Wayne State in scoring. Janssen ended with 14 points followed by Mohr and Al’Tavius Jackson with 12 and 11 respectively.
WSC made 30 of 55 shots from the field for 54.5 percent, the second-highest field goal percentage night of the season for the Wildcats. Wayne State was 7 for 14 from 3-point range and 6-8 at the foul line.
Ryland Holt had 17 points for Minnesota State with Kirksey (15) and Seales (14) also reaching double digits.
Minnesota State was 26 of 59 from the field for 44 percent, including 10 for 29 behind the arc and 9 of 12 at the charity stripe.
Both teams had 31 rebounds with Jackson and Janssen each grabbing six for the Wildcats. Janssen was credited with four assists and three steals to lead WSC in both categories.
Wayne State will be in action again Saturday playing at Concordia-St. Paul starting at 5:30 p.m.
Wayne State shot just 30 percent in the first half while Minnesota State built a 20-point halftime lead as the host Mavericks downed the Wildcats 79-69 Friday evening in a Northern Sun Conference South Division women’s basketball game played at Taylor Center in Mankato, Minnesota. WSC drops to 13-6 and 8-5 in the league while MSU is now 10-7 and 7-6 in the NSIC South Division.
The Wildcats never led in the game. WSC hit just 5 of 18 shots (27.8%) in the opening quarter as the host Mavericks built a 19-11 lead.
The cold shooting continued for WSC in the second quarter while Minnesota State connected on 11 of 21 shots (52.4%) in the second quarter, outscoring the Wildcats 28-16, to build a commanding 47-27 lead at the break.
Wayne State did shoot much better in the second half – 13 of 25 for 52 percent – and was 14 for 16 at the charity stripe. But the 20-point deficit was too much to overcome as the host Mavericks closed with a 79-69 win.
The Wildcats held a 21-16 scoring advantage in the third quarter, cutting the Minnesota State lead to 63-48.
After trailing by as many as 19 in the fourth quarter, WSC never gave up and got the deficit to single digits in the final 90 seconds of the game before falling 79-69.
Junior forward Erin Norling led Wayne State with 13 points, her 37th consecutive game scoring double figures. Halley Busse and Brittany Bongartz also reached double figures for the ‘Cats with 11 points apiece.
It was a tale of two halves for Wayne State shooting as the Wildcats ended 23 of 58 from the field for 39.7 percent, going 2 of 14 behind the arc. WSC was solid from the free throw line making 21 of 25 for 84 percent.
Five players reached double digits for Minnesota State, led by Kristi Fett’s 15 points. Maddy Olson scored 13, Joey Batt had 12 while Tayla Stuttley and Rachel Shumski each accounted for 10 points for the Mavericks.
MSU made 26 of 74 shots for 35 percent, including 7 of 25 from 3-point range. The Mavericks were 20 for 27 at the charity stripe.
Minnesota State held a 47-43 edge in rebounding thanks to 17 offensive boards. Norling led WSC on the glass with seven.
WSC had 21 turnovers in the game to just 14 for Minnesota State.
The Wildcats play again Saturday visiting Concordia-St. Paul in a 3:30 p.m. contest.