Wayne State ended five years of consecutive losses to Upper Iowa in men’s basketball with a dominating 83-56 Northern Sun Conference victory at Dorman Gymnasium in Fayette, Iowa Friday evening. The Wildcats improve to 7-1 overall and 2-0 in the NSIC with their sixth straight win while the host Peacocks drops to 3-4 and 0-2 in league play.
It was the first win for Wayne State over Upper Iowa since February 23, 2013 when WSC edged the Peacocks 62-60 in Wayne. The six-game win streak for the Wildcats is the longest since a 15-game win streak for the Wildcats in the 1999-2000 season (Greg McDermott’s final year in Wayne). Wayne State’s 7-1 start is the best beginning to a season for a Wildcat men’s basketball team since the 1969-70 team under Dave Gunther that finished 23-6 that season.
The first part of the game was close with three lead changes and four ties. The Wildcats took control of the game with a scoring surge at the midway point of the first half and slowed separated themselves from the Peacocks.
A 12-4 Wildcat scoring run, culminated by a Kendall Jacks three-point play, gave WSC their first double digit lead of the game at 24-14 at the 9:39 mark of the first half.
Later in the half with WSC leading 30-19, the ‘Cats scored seven straight points on a Trevin Joseph 3-pointer followed by a Jacks basket and two free throws by Joseph to put WSC ahead 37-19 at the 4:05 mark before Wayne State finished the half with a 43-28 lead at intermission.
After shooting 57.6 percent (19-33) in the first half, the Wildcats continued their strong play and never allowed Upper Iowa a chance to get back into the contest.
With WSC holding a 55-36 lead at the 14:40 mark, the Wildcats put together a short highlight reel with two dunks in just 36 seconds as Trevin Joseph threw down the first slam following a Jacks steal. That was followed by another Jacks steal and breakaway dunk to put the ‘Cats ahead 61-36 with 13:23 remaining.
Wayne State finished the game shooting 55.1 percent, making 38 of 69 shots from the field. It was the fifth time in eight games that the Wildcats have shot higher than 50 percent from the field. WSC was just 4 of 17 from the 3-point line and 3 for 3 at the charity stripe.
Senior guard Kendall Jacks led the Wildcats in scoring with 21 points on 10 of 12 shooting from the field. Jacks moved past Brett Cain (1,228 pts from 2001-05) for 14th place in all-time scoring at WSC with 1,244 points.
Other Wildcats in double figures were Trevin Joseph with 16 points and Nick Ferrarini with 14.
Chris Olson led Upper Iowa in scoring at 14 points followed by Munachiso Okonkwo and Jareese Williams with 12 and 11 points respectively.
Upper Iowa shot 22 of 60 from the field for 36.7 percent, including 5 of 19 from the 3-point line and 7 of 9 at the free throw line.
Wayne State won the rebounding battle over Upper Iowa 37-30 thanks to seven boards each from Jacks and Ben Dentlinger.
The Wildcats had just eight turnovers in the game compared to 15 for Upper Iowa, resulting in a 26-8 advantage in points off turnovers. WSC also held a commanding 32-4 advantage in fast break points.
Dentlinger was credited with four of Wayne State’s eight blocked shots in the contest while Luke TerHark and Jacks each had three assists while Nick Ferrarini had three steals.
WSC will play at Winona State Saturday at 5:30 p.m.
Wayne State built a 20-point lead early in the third quarter, then held back a second half comeback from Upper Iowa as the Wildcats defeated the Peacocks 68-60 in Northern Sun Conference women’s basketball played Friday evening at Dorman Gymnasium in Fayette, Iowa. WSC is now 5-2 and 1-1 in NSIC play while Upper Iowa drops to 3-6 and 0-2 in league games.
The first quarter featured scoring runs by both teams. After WSC jumped out to a 9-4 lead at the 4:47 mark, Upper Iowa scored the next six points to grab their final lead of the night at 10-9 with 3:22 left in the first quarter. WSC closed the quarter with eight straight points – a Halley Busse 3-pointer and a layup and 3-pointer from Kylie Hammer – to take a 17-10 advantage after one quarter.
WSC used a 9-0 scoring run early in the second quarter to take their first double digit lead of the night following a Erin Norling basket and Busse 3-pointer to put the Wildcats in front 26-12 at the 6:31 mark of the second quarter.
With WSC leading 30-19, the Wildcats closed the half with seven straight points to take a sizeable 37-19 lead at the halftime break.
But the host Peacocks came out strong in the third quarter and did not allow the Wildcats to put the game away.
After WSC took a pair of 20-point leads early in the third quarter, Upper Iowa battled back and got as close as eight at 48-40 at the 1:58 mark of the quarter before WSC ended the quarter with a 54-42 advantage.
WSC pushed the lead back to 57-43 on a Busse trey with 7:16 to play, but the Peacocks battled back and got as close as four in the final minute before the Wildcats held on for the win.
The ‘Cats went scoreless for nearly three minutes, but still held a 61-51 lead with 3:35 to play.
But Upper Iowa slowly chipped away at the lead and got within four at 64-60 on a Emma Gaber 3-pointer with 30.6 seconds to play.
WSC got a pair of Kylie Hammer free throws and a steal and layup from Norling in the final 30 seconds to seal the 68-60 victory.
Sophomore Erin Norling led Wayne State in scoring with 19 points followed by sophomore center Brittany Bongartz with 15 points and sophomore point guard Halley Busse with 14.
The Wildcats shot just 32.9 percent from the field on 24 of 73 shooting, including 8 of 26 behind the arc. WSC was 12 for 16 (75 percent) at the free throw line.
Samantha Domeyer poured in a game-high 23 points to lead Upper Iowa in scoring while Natalie Dinius also hit double digits with 12.
Upper Iowa made 19 of 68 shots for 27.9 percent and was 6 for 24 (25%) behind the 3-point line to go with 16 of 24 (66.7%) at the charity stripe.
WSC held a 51-47 advantage in rebounding over the Peacocks thanks to nine boards from Norling and eight by Andrea Larson.
Busse handed out six of Wayne State’s 17 assists with Norling adding five. Bongartz was credited with three blocked shots while Taylor Reiner and Amelia Ivester each recorded two.
The Wildcats will be in action again Saturday playing a 3:30 p.m. contest at Winona State.