After playing three games in three days last weekend at the CCA Tip Off Classic in California, the Wayne State men’s basketball team is back on the road this weekend traveling to Shawnee, Oklahoma for the GAC/MIAA Challenge. WSC faces East Central (Okla.) Friday at 5:30 p.m. followed by a Saturday 7:30 p.m. contest vs. host Oklahoma Baptist.
The Wildcats are 0-3 after dropping games to Ferris State (100-78), #23 Concordia-Irvine (75-73) and Texas-Permian Basin (82-62) in Orange, California. Sophomore center Jordan Janssen had two double-doubles and leads WSC in scoring (17.7) and rebounding (10.7) heading into this weekend. Sophomore forward Nick Ferrarini adds 15.0 points per game game sophomore guard Nate Mohr scoring 12.0 points a contest.
East Central went 16-12 last year (13-9 GAC) and is picked to finish sixth in the Great American Conference this season. Cameron Talley averaged 20.5 points per game last season, tops in the GAC. Wayne State’s lone meeting vs. East Central came in the 2014-15 season in Bartlesville, Oklahoma with the Tigers prevailing 80-77.
Wayne State’s opponent Saturday night is Oklahoma Baptist. The Bison were 16-14 last year (14-8 GAC) and are picked third in this year’s Preseason Poll. OBU returns three double digit scorers and also added transfers from Limestone College, UNC Wilmington and St. Cloud State. Junior Harrison Stoddart averaged 12.0 points a game last season followed by junior Brantly Thompson (11.3) and senior Dishon Lowery (10.2/7.8 rpg). This will be the first-ever meeting between WSC and Oklahoma Baptist in men’s basketball.
The fourth team in the tournament is Nebraska-Kearney, who was 10-18 last season (5-14 MIAA) and picked 13th in this year’s MIAA Preseason Coaches Poll.