Wayne State rallied from a 16-point deficit with just over 12 minutes remaining and tied the score at 71-71 with under two minutes to play, but host Sioux Falls made plays down the stretch to fend off the Wildcat rally and registered a 77-71 Northern Sun Conference men’s basketball victory over Wayne State Friday evening at Stewart Center in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. The host Cougars improved to 9-4 and 4-3 in league play with WSC dropping to 10-3 overall and 5-2 in the NSIC.
The Wildcats opened the game making 3 of their first 6 shots and held an 8-6 lead at the 15:07 mark. That would be the final lead of the night for WSC as the ‘Cats went ice cold from the field for the next 10 minutes.
WSC made just 1 of their next 16 shots and trailed 29-14 with 5:44 to play in the first half before the ‘Cats finished the half strong to cut the deficit to five at intermission.
Wayne State closed the half making 9 of 12 shots and used a Trevin Joseph 3-pointer to head into the locker room trailing 38-33 at the break.
Sioux Falls wasted little time regaining momentum to start the second half, scoring the first nine points of the half to push the lead back to double digits at 47-33 before Trevin Joseph ended the scoring surge for the Cougars with a layup at the 16:43 mark.
Wayne State still trailed 58-42 with 12:55 remaining and were down 71-60 with just under five minutes to play when the ‘Cats stormed back.
An 11-0 run by WSC knotted the score at 71-71 with 1:45 to play. A Kendall Jacks layup followed by 3-pointers from Jacks and Nick Ferrarini and a Vance Janssen jumper evened the score with 1:45 left.
But WSC closed the game with a turnover, followed by three missed shots which resulted in fouling Sioux Falls and the Cougars made free throws at the end to seal the 77-71 victory.
Joseph paced Wayne State in scoring with a career-high 35 points, draining 13 of 20 shots from the field and 8 of 11 behind the arc. The eight 3-pointers were the most by a Wildcat player since Ryan Rolfzen sank eight 3-pointers vs. Crown College on November 19, 2013. Kendall Jacks also had a big night for WSC with 25 points, going 11 for 21 from the field.
WSC shot 28 of 64 for the game for 43.8 percent. The Wildcats, who entered the game ranked 16th in the league in 3-point field goal percentage, tied a season-high with 11 treys on 22 attempts for 50 percent while going just 4 of 8 at the free throw stripe.
Drew Guebert led Sioux Falls with 23 points followed by Trevon Evans with 16.
The Cougars shot 45.3 percent from the field making 29 of 64 shots. USF was 9 for 17 behind the 3-point line and made 10 of 15 free throws.
Sioux Falls held a commanding 48-25 advantage in rebounding over WSC thanks to 10 boards each from Guebert and Austin Slater. Vance Janssen led WSC on the glass with five.
Joseph added five steals in the game while Nick Ferrarini had four assists.
WSC held a 22-9 edge in points off turnovers thanks to creating 16 turnovers on the Cougars to just seven on the Wildcats.
Wayne State will be in action again Saturday evening playing at Southwest Minnesota State in a 6 p.m. contest.
Sioux Falls used a 17-0 run to close the second quarter to take control of the game as the Cougars rolled past Wayne State 81-59 Friday evening in a Northern Sun Conference women’s basketball South Division game played at the Stewart Center in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. USF is now 9-4 on the season and 4-3 in league play while WSC drops to 8-5 and 3-4 in NSIC games.
Wayne State built a 13-7 first quarter lead at the 2:22 mark following a Taylor Reiner layup. The final lead for WSC came at 14-12 with 46 seconds left on a Reiner free throw with Sioux Falls closing the opening stanza with a 16-14 lead.
The Wildcats were within four points at 27-23 with 6:29 to play in the second quarter when the Cougars closed the first half on a 17-0 run to take control of the game with a 44-23 halftime lead.
WSC ended a scoreless streak of 6:57 early in the third quarter on a layup by Brittany Bongartz and the Wildcats got as close as 13 at 48-35 on a Bongartz three-point play with 7:33 to play in the quarter.
But Sioux Falls held WSC without a basket for the next 5:40 and built a 58-39 lead before a Halley Busse 3-pointer with 1:53 to play third quarter ended another Wildcat scoring drought.
Wayne State trailed 64-44 after three quarters and ended the game with the 81-59 loss.
Sophomore forward Brittany Bongartz led WSC in scoring with 14 points followed by sophomore guard Erin Norling with 12 and freshman reserve guard Kylie Hammer 11.
Wayne State made 21 of 61 shots from the field for 34.4 percent, including 6 for 18 behind the arc. The Wildcats canned 11 of 15 free throws in the contest.
Junior guard Jessie Geer, who entered the game averaging just 5.6 points a contest, paced the Cougars in scoring with 26 points, including 20 in the first half. Kaely Hummel also reached double figures for USF with 12 points.
Sioux Falls shot 46.5 percent from the field making 33 of 71 shots. The Cougars were 9 of 25 from the 3-point line and 6 for 8 at the charity stripe.
The Cougars held a 42-37 advantage in rebounding over the Wildcats with Norling hauling in seven rebounds for WSC. Halley Busse and Andrea Larson each handed out four assists for WSC while Bongartz was credited with four blocked shots.
Sioux Falls held a 40-28 edge on points in the paint and 30-10 in points off turnovers, creating 15 miscues on the Wildcats.
The Wildcats will play again Saturday visiting Southwest Minnesota State in a 4 p.m. contest in Marshall, Minnesota.