For the seventh time in the last eight games, Wayne State held their opponent to less than 40 percent shooting as the Wildcats pulled away late for a 72-52 victory over Minnesota Crookston in a Northern Sun Conference basketball game played Sunday afternoon at Rice Auditorium in Wayne. It was the ninth straight win for the Wildcats, now 10-1 and first place in the NSIC South Division with a perfect 5-0 league mark, while the Golden Eagles slip to 7-6 and 1-4 in league games.
Besides holding Minnesota Crookston to just 35.6 percent shooting (21-59), the Wildcats also shut down the second leading scorer in the NSIC as Golden Eagle guard Harrison Cleary, entering the game as 22 points a contest, was held to just nine points by WSC on 4 of 15 shooting from the field.
Both teams started slow, as the score at the first media timeout was 2-2 with WSC having seven turnovers in the first six minutes of the game, matching their complete game total the night before vs. Bemidji State.
Trailing 6-2, WSC scored eight straight points and led 10-6 following a three-point play by Al’Tavius Jackson with 12:00 to play first half.
The game’s fourth and final tie was at 15-15 at the 8:14 mark following a layup from UMC’s Harrison Cleary.
WSC went in front by seven at 24-17 following a Luke TerHark 3-pointer with 5:28 remaining in the half.
After UMC got within two at 24-22, WSC went on a 10-2 run and took a 34-24 lead on Jordan Janssen’s layup as the Wildcats finished the half with a 34-27 lead.
The Wildcats never allowed a Minnesota Crookston comeback in the second half thanks to 51.7 percent (15-29) shooting. After WSC pushed the lead to 12 at 44-32, UMC got as close as eight at 44-36. The Wildcats then scored the next seven points for a 51-36 lead and pushed the lead to as high as 21 points before finishing with the 72-52 victory.
Senior guard Trevin Joseph led WSC in scoring with 18 points on 9 of 17 shooting. Kendall Jacks added 15 points with Vance Janssen (14) and Jordan Janssen (11) also hitting double figures for the ‘Cats.
WSC shot 26 of 57 for the game (45.6%), going 5 of 17 behind the arc. The ‘Cats were 15 for 19 at the foul line.
Minnesota Crookston’s lone double digit scorer was Ben Juhl with 12 points.
UMC was 21 of 59 shooting for 35.6 percent. The Golden Eagles were just 3 of 17 from 3-point range and 7 of 12 at the free throw line.
WSC held a 39-35 edge in rebounding thanks to eight boards from Jordan Janssen. Joseph handed out five assists and had two steals. Jordan Janssen, Vance Janssen and Joseph each had two blocked shots.
The Wildcats had 17 turnovers in the contest, one less than Minnesota Crookston.
WSC is off for the Christmas break and resumes play on Sunday, December 30th hosting Augustana University in a 3:30 p.m. contest in Rice Auditorium.
Wayne State trailed for nearly the entire game, but used a season-high 29 point fourth quarter to rally for a 88-83 Northern Sun Conference women’s basketball victory over Minnesota Crookston Sunday afternoon at Rice Auditorium in Wayne. The Wildcats, now 130-13 over the last 10 seasons in Rice Auditorium, are 7-3 on the season and 3-2 in NSIC games while UMC drops to 7-4 and 2-3 in league play.
The Wildcats trailed 14-4 less than four minutes into the game and trailed the entire contest until taking their first lead with 7:34 remaining in the game. WSC held the lead for just 4:43 of the game while UMC led for 31:22 with the game tied for 3:54.
Despite trailing 14-4 and 21-11 in the first quarter, the Wildcats closed the quarter strong and got within four at 24-20 following quarter-ending 3-pointers by Kylie Hammer and Andrea Larson.
UMC pushed the lead back to 10 several times in the second quarter with the Wildcats again closing the quarter strong to cut into the deficit.
The Golden Eagles led 34-24 at the 3:43 mark of the second quarter, then WSC used back-to-back treys from Maggie Lowe and a layup from Amelia Ivester to trim the deficit to 34-32 before ending the half with a 39-35 deficit.
In the third quarter, Minnesota Crookston maintained the lead and was in front by 11 at 63-52 before ending the quarter with a 66-59 lead.
WSC started the fourth quarter with a 11-2 run and took their first lead of the game at 70-68 on a 3-pointer from Hammer with 7:34 to play.
The two teams then traded six ties and three lead changes down the stretch until WSC scored the final six points of the game for the victory.
The ‘Cats took an 82-78 lead on a Lowe 3-pointer with 3:44 remaining, but the Golden Eagles used a 3-pointer by Caitlin Michaelis and a layup from Isieoma Odor to take their final lead at 83-82 with 1:57 to play.
Larson and Hammer made a pair of free throws each to put WSC in front 86-83, then Hammer sealed the win with two more free throws with three seconds to play for the 88-83 win.
Hammer led five double digit scorers for WSC with a career/season-high 19 points, going 5 of 10 from the field and 6 for 7 at the free throw stripe. Erin Norling added 18 points followed by Larson with 12 points and 13 rebounds for her first double-double of the season. Halley Busse and Brittany Bongartz each contributed 12 points for WSC.
The Wildcats shot 44.4 percent from the field, making 32 of 72 shots. WSC was 10 of 27 behind the arc and 14 for 18 at the charity stripe.
Isieoma Odor paced Minnesota Crookston with 29 points on 13 of 22 shooting. Caitlin Michaelis followed with 15 points while Paige Weakley and Bren Fox also hit double digits for the Golden Eagles with 14 and 10 points.
UMC made 32 of 69 shots for 46.4 percent, going 12 for 28 from the 3-point line and 7 for 7 at the stripe.
Minnesota Crookston held a slim 39-37 advantage in rebounds over WSC thanks to 13 caroms by Fox while Larson led the Wildcats with 13 rebounds.
Hammer had five of Wayne State’s 19 assists and also had three steals. Norling led WSC with five steals while Larson, Bongartz and Ivester each had two blocked shots.
The Wildcats will close out the pre-Christmas schedule with a non-conference game Wednesday evening hosting Midland University at 5:30 p.m.